Legal obligation by seller if buyer/lender unable to meet closing date

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Legal obligation by seller if buyer/lender unable to meet closing date

I have a vacant land purchase agreement with no contingencies and a closing date
‘no later than x date’ that has now expired. No agents or attorney involved, no
earnest money taken. Buyers lender set a closing date with closing company for 10
days past contract date even though I stated the current purchase agreement is not
valid as the closing date has expired with buyers, lender and closing company on e-
communication. There has been no formal request to extend the closing date and
the terms if they did want it or how I would be compensated if I accepted. Do I hade
any legal requirements to stay in this? My thought is that the p.a. is no longer valid
and i am not obligated to do anything. Failure to perform on the part of the
lender/buyer as they did not meet the closing date. The default is on their end, not
mine as title was clear, closing company was ready etc. One piece of info is I gave
buyer list of lenders to consider going but buyer made choice of which to actually
engage with, not me.

Asked on July 1, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You are correct: if there was a firm closing date and the buyers failed to close by it for *any* reason which was not your fault--including their lender's slowness--the buyer is in default or breach and you may keep their deposit/earnest money and sell to someone else; you may also use their default as leverage to get additional compensation from them, should you choose to go ahead with the sale, though with a history of defaulting, you would be well-advised to have them escrow any such additional money to make sure it is available.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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