Can the seller back out of accepted offer and not do agreed repairs?

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Can the seller back out of accepted offer and not do agreed repairs?

We have an accepted offer on a realtor listed house. The original offer included repair to items disclosed by seller 4 days prior to close and If radon was found during home inspection to be paid for remediation by seller at time of close. We gave them full asking price, no contingency on selling our house, and the closing date they asked for. We now signed and submitted a paper asking for $500 at closing to help with cost of repairs to remaining items found at home inspection. Our realtor submitted paper to sellers realtor who called seller about coming in to decide on our amendment. I got a call from my realtor at work a couple hours after submitting paper and told that we have 2 hours to ask our amendment be removed and not presented to seller and sign new amendment stating inspection is satisfied no repairs requested. Our realtor stated that sellers realtor told her if seller even sees the paper asking for more money he will pull the house off the market and not sell because they are

stressed that already agreed upon repairs will cost more than the remaining loan amount minus repair

funds. The bank offered to cut a check early to cover repairs but I’m told that the seller has no funds available for repairs and loan will be upside down if bank provides repair funds. Seller took additional funds out to build a garage at time they bought property and only finished half of garage. I contacted the that the building inspector who states garage needs to be finished and have them come back to verify. At the current, unfinished state I might not get insurance due to no required firewall installed yet. I ok’d with inspector that I’d finish minimum required work as soon as we closed on it. I’m told seller changed jobs and is downsizing due to money issues. Seller already has an accepted offer on another house as well just waiting on closing of this house. I am qualified for small bridge loan and have no contingencies on selling our home giving us more time to move and sell after. Accepted offer doesn’t include any seller contingencies and I don’t see how they can just not sell house because we asked for more repairs. Their realtor told mine they can but seems fishy. The only thing I can think of is if it creates a short sale maybe they can. I’m just guessing here. I really don’t want to lose out on the house so I left work to sign the acceptance of inspection and removal of amendment asking for more funds in recommendation from my realtor. With the way seller is acting I’m afraid that repairs will not be made before closing or he may trash the house. I can verify at final walk through but afraid there will definitely be more issues with seller moving forward. If there was a chance we’d find another similar house we’d just wait and keep looking but we’ve already been looking for almost 4 years and everything about the house and location is what we’ve been looking for except dealing with

this seller. We will already pushing finances carrying 2 mortgages until ours sells and need the time for moving and sprucing up our house to sell. I’m afraid the way things are going we’ll end up in court or lose our dream house. We don’t know what to do. 27 days until closing. I’m afraid one or

all of us is going to have a breakdown or worse. Our whole family is stressed to the max and just want to get this over.

Asked on March 11, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless the repairs themselves were in the contract, so the seller is contractually obligated to do them, they have the right to refuse to make these repairs--only a contractual agreement obligates them to make repairs. Even if had the usual "inspection contingency" in the contract, the typical form of that does NOT require the seller to make repairs; rather, it merely gives the buyer (you) the right call off the sale if the repairs aren't made--which may not help you, if you need to go through with the purchase. So it's not actually the case that the seller could pull the house of the market, but they can hold firm on not doing repairs and require *you* to decide if you can and will buy the home without the repairs. If you don't buy the house without the repairs, then they don't have to sell it to you.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless the repairs themselves were in the contract, so the seller is contractually obligated to do them, they have the right to refuse to make these repairs--only a contractual agreement obligates them to make repairs. Even if had the usual "inspection contingency" in the contract, the typical form of that does NOT require the seller to make repairs; rather, it merely gives the buyer (you) the right call off the sale if the repairs aren't made--which may not help you, if you need to go through with the purchase. So it's not actually the case that the seller could pull the house of the market, but they can hold firm on not doing repairs and require *you* to decide if you can and will buy the home without the repairs. If you don't buy the house without the repairs, then they don't have to sell it to you.


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