What can happen if an extension of time to close on a house is not granted by the seller?

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What can happen if an extension of time to close on a house is not granted by the seller?

We are under contract for a bank-owned home. We are getting a 203k loan and there have been a bunch of paperwork hangups from our bank (their fault not ours). The closing date set by the selling bank is today 11/26/10 but our paperwork is not quite ready. We’ve asked for an extension of 12 days to finalize the paperwork. What if any repercussions do we have if we don’t get the house because the selling bank won’t give us the extension? We’ve put $4500 down.

Asked on November 26, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Rhode Island

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This question may be moot at this point given the date.  Generally speaking, unless contracts say the words "time is of the essence"  the sellers usually grant at least one 30 day extension to the buyers on the closing date.  So I am thinking that you should be fine here with this matter.  But if that is not the case you should read the contract carefully to see what happens to the down payment under the various scenarios.  Technically you are in breach but if the breach was brought about by no fault of your own that may have a bearing (and you mention that here).  I hope that the extension was granted but if not, seek help from your attorney.  Good luck. 


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