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Old 07-17-2009, 06:23 AM
 
16 posts, read 188,202 times
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Hello, I am looking for some expert advise here. Just a quick background - I made a offer on a house which was accepted. We got through attorney review. After inspection we found out issues that will need investment and went back to seller asking for credit to fix these issues. We went back and forth couple of times and now seller made his final offer. We do not agree with the offer. After carefully reviewing their offer we have decided not to pursue the matter any further and cancelled our offer. Now my attorney is telling me that Seller also needs to agree with this and I simply cannot cancel the offer ? Is this true ? So I am at seller's mercy to cancel contract ?

Can you please shed some light on this ? Can I be now forced to buy a house ? This will be unlawful as far as i can see. Clearly i do not agree with what they have to offer and they dont agree with what we are asking for. I do have agenct and attorney.

Any advise quickly will be very helpful as I am new to this process.

Thx,
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:23 AM
 
1,235 posts, read 3,758,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kashyshi View Post
Hello, I am looking for some expert advise here. Just a quick background - I made a offer on a house which was accepted. We got through attorney review. After inspection we found out issues that will need investment and went back to seller asking for credit to fix these issues. We went back and forth couple of times and now seller made his final offer. We do not agree with the offer. After carefully reviewing their offer we have decided not to pursue the matter any further and cancelled our offer. Now my attorney is telling me that Seller also needs to agree with this and I simply cannot cancel the offer ? Is this true ? So I am at seller's mercy to cancel contract ?

Can you please shed some light on this ? Can I be now forced to buy a house ? This will be unlawful as far as i can see. Clearly i do not agree with what they have to offer and they dont agree with what we are asking for. I do have agenct and attorney.

Any advise quickly will be very helpful as I am new to this process.

Thx,
How big are the repairs? How much money are we talking about?
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Hudson County, NJ
1,490 posts, read 2,939,785 times
Reputation: 1182
I think usually you can back out after inspection, but now I can't recall if there needs to be a clause in the contract about this first.

It would be ridiculous if you can't right? What if you have 50k worth of damages for who knows what, the seller wants to sell so he wont let you back out and you're stuck with that, I don't think so. Read your contract for a something about being able to back out after inspection.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:28 AM
 
19 posts, read 144,619 times
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Review your offer letter for the terms of how you can cancel your contract. In my offer letter, it was stated that either party can cancel the contract after inspection if the repairs were required in excess of $500.

I don't know if this is standard language or if it was negotiated by my attorney.

I am not a lawyer, but is it possible that your attorney means that the other parties have to agree that the damages/repairs that came back in the inspection are true? Possibly through their own house inspection. I'm sure anyone can get a document saying that $25,000 worth of repairs are needed but perhaps it needs to be independently verified and agreed to by the sellers. Just a thought.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:32 AM
 
1,235 posts, read 3,758,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommccabe View Post
Review your offer letter for the terms of how you can cancel your contract. In my offer letter, it was stated that either party can cancel the contract after inspection if the repairs were required in excess of $500.
That sounds familiar. I don't think that the buyer can back out on a whim based on the something from the inspection, and it does take negotiation.

(Of course the buyer can back out whenever, but you have to be careful that you don't get sued by the seller. Hence the negotiations.)
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Toms River, NJ
1,106 posts, read 4,707,069 times
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I'm not a lawyer but there should be an inspection contingency clause in your contract which outlines the "when and how" the contract can be cancelled if there are problems.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:46 AM
 
1,552 posts, read 4,418,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kashyshi View Post
Just a quick background - I made a offer on a house which was accepted. We got through attorney review. After inspection we found out issues that will need investment and went back to seller asking for credit to fix these issues. We went back and forth couple of times and now seller made his final offer. We do not agree with the offer. After carefully reviewing their offer we have decided not to pursue the matter any further and cancelled our offer. Now my attorney is telling me that Seller also needs to agree with this and I simply cannot cancel the offer ? Is this true ? So I am at seller's mercy to cancel contract ?
That does not sound right, based on the facts as you've stated them.

Assuming you had your attorney review the contract during the attorney review period, there should have certainly been a clause in the contract that makes the deal contingent on a satisfactory inspection. (If your attorney did not insist on such a clause, he/she is guilty of malpractice in my opinion!)

And what "contingent on inspection" generally means is that if the inspection uncovers some issues, you and the seller will need to reach an agreement on whether and how much the seller will credit you to make the repairs, or make the repairs himself to your satisfaction. Otherwise, if the buyer and seller cannot agree, the deal can be cancelled by either party. That's a basic "inspection contingency" clause that any contract should have.

Of course, there may be some difference between the actual facts and the facts as you conveyed them. Did you agree to purchase the house "as-is"? If so, you may be limited in what type of repairs you can insist on (e.g. you probably won't be able to pull out of the contract based on wanting new windows because the current windows stick, but if the roof is discovered leaking or the foundations are cracking then serious problems like that can be ground for pulling out of the contract, i.e. structural/environmental issue).

Or did you get the inspection report but within a reasonable time (as set in the contracT) fail to notify the seller that you wanted something repaired? You can't just wait a month and decide then that you want something repaired.

Or did you initially agree that you're OK with the inspection report, but then later change your mind?

Things like that may be the reason why your attorney would say you "can't" cancel the deal now.

In reality, the bottom line is that nobody can force you to buy a house, however, you may lose any "good faith" deposit you put down (hopefully a small amount, if any!). That may be a small price to pay for avoiding buying a house you don't want that needs repairs you cannot afford.

Good luck.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:09 AM
 
1,914 posts, read 3,337,532 times
Reputation: 1088
Quote:
Originally Posted by kashyshi View Post
Hello, I am looking for some expert advise here. Just a quick background - I made a offer on a house which was accepted. We got through attorney review. After inspection we found out issues that will need investment and went back to seller asking for credit to fix these issues. We went back and forth couple of times and now seller made his final offer. We do not agree with the offer. After carefully reviewing their offer we have decided not to pursue the matter any further and cancelled our offer. Now my attorney is telling me that Seller also needs to agree with this and I simply cannot cancel the offer ? Is this true ? So I am at seller's mercy to cancel contract ?

Can you please shed some light on this ? Can I be now forced to buy a house ? This will be unlawful as far as i can see. Clearly i do not agree with what they have to offer and they dont agree with what we are asking for. I do have agenct and attorney.

Any advise quickly will be very helpful as I am new to this process.

Thx,

What's wrong with the house and how much money do you think it would need to fix it? I'm assuming there are major repairs to be made? How did you come about the cost of the repairs? Reliable contractors? Don't go by what your home inspector said (if you are) b/c in this day and age, I've found they speak out of their behinds more than they don't and scare first-time/not-so-handy/not "in the know" buyers more than they should.

Why don't you believe your lawyer?

Next time have your lawyer stall attny review until your inspections are over.

I've never heard of anyone being forced to buy a house they didn't want to but you may end up paying a penalty for canceling your contract at the stage of the game you are in...check your contract.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:38 AM
 
391 posts, read 1,401,372 times
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this is one of the most common situations that can come up in a home sale, so any real estate attorney should be able to explain this to you in a way that you can understand. if not, i'd suggest getting another attorney.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:42 AM
 
16 posts, read 188,202 times
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Thank you everyone for your quick response. I agree there is no reason why anyone should be forced to buy a house and i am hoping there should be no reason for seller to hold us up. We have been going through these negotiations for over three weeks.

Some other details: I have not put any money down other than good faith deposit of $1000.00. Also the repairs look around $10K and he is willing to pay us $5K. Given the price I am paying for the house I dont want to negotiate on this pricing. Seller made it very clear in their last offer they will not agree with what we asked for.

We got through attorney review on 6/16, completed inspection in time and since then we have been trying to negotiate the price based on what we found on inspection.

Below is my attorney letter that was signed by seller's attorney, please let me know if you see any red flags here ?

__________________________________________________ ___________________________________

[SIZE=3]This office represents XXXXXXX in connection with the above referenced transaction. I have reviewed the Agreement and advise you, pursuant to the Attorney Review provision therein that I must disapprove the same in its current form. Please be advised however, that the Agreement would be acceptable provided the changes set forth below are incorporated into the Agreement.

2. This Agreement shall be amended to provide that Buyers shall have 35 days from the completion of the attorney review to obtain a mortgage commitment. Further, in the event that the Appraised value of the property is less than the purchase price, than the Buyer’s may cancel the Agreement.
3. This Agreement shall be amended to permit Buyers with 15 days from the completion of the attorney review period to conduct all inspections. Further, a radon level of 4.0 picocuries or greater shall be considered a substantial environmental defect under this Agreement and Buyers may cancel the Agreement unless Sellers remediate.
4. There shall be no automatic waivers of rights for either Buyers or Sellers, for noncompliance with any time limitations under the Agreement. Affirmative action in writing shall be required by either Buyers or Sellers if either party desires to declare the Agreement null and void for reason of lack of performance under the Agreement.
5. Sellers represent that the appliances, heating, plumbing, air conditioning and electrical systems are and will be in working condition at the closing and that the basement (if any) is dry and the roof is free from leaks.
6. Sellers warrant that they have no knowledge of any leaks or contamination due to underground storage of oil and that no underground storage tanks exist on the property.
7. Sellers warrant and represent that the property is not serviced by well water and that no well exists on the property. In the event that the property is serviced by well water, Seller will obtain all necessary testing to satisfy the provisions of N.J.S.A. 58:12A-26, et seq.
8. Any reference to liquidated damages shall be deleted.
9. This Agreement shall be amended to permit notice by facsimile transmission as effective notice.
10. Sellers represent that all necessary permits have been obtained from the local municipality for any and all work performed at the subject property.
11. Any errors or omissions in computing apportionments at the time of closing shall be corrected and payment made to the appropriate party promptly after discovery. This provision shall survive closing of title for a period of sixty (60) days.
12. Seller represent that there are no pending or anticipated condominium association assessments other than the regular monthly maintenance fee which seller represents is $___________/month.
13. If the Buyer is issued a mortgage commitment, but same is subsequently withdrawn through no fault of the Buyer (i.e. Buyer is involuntarily terminated from his or her employment, becomes incapacitated, disabled, or dies) Buyer may terminate the contract as if a mortgage commitment had not been issued.

[SIZE=3]If the foregoing is acceptable, please sign this letter where indicated below and return a copy to me. Upon receipt of the executed letter, the Attorney Review period shall end.
__________________________________________________ __________________

Thx for taking time to help me out with this.



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