Seller delays close due to waiting on Certification of Occupancy

4 Replies

Hello, I would love some input on my current situation.

I am in the process of purchasing a condo, that is part of a triple decker building. The condo was completely gutted and re-done in 2020 and went onto the market for sale in Nov’2020. We were set to close (inspection, appraisal, mortgage all done) on March 5th. The seller asked for an extension because they had yet to secure a CO from the city. The seller did not provide any details on why the CO was not yet acquired, whether they had an inspection done yet, failed an inspection or anything else. 

We extended the sale to March 29th. Come the week of the close date they requested yet another extension again due to the CO and lack there of. They claimed to have hired a specialist to help them get the certificate, but still did not provide details on their timeline. They also claim that the delays are not due to their work but rather the city being backed up from COVID issues. At this point they are running towards the end of the 30 day rate extension period they have now payed for us. 

I became tired of the lack in communication and reached out to the city’s inspection department myself to determine where the property stands in order to get the certificate. The inspector took pity on me and actually responded even though I am the buyer not the seller in charge of getting the CO. He told me that the property had failed an inspection and the selling contractor was well aware of what needed to be done in order to pass. 

To me this does not sound like a delay because of the city and COVID issues this sounds like the seller is delaying this close on purpose. I am suspicious that they are trying to force me to back out of the sale so they can re-list the property at a higher price now that the market is recovering. It is clear to me that they are purposely not completing what needs to be done in order to get the certificate so we can close on this property. 

We made the seller aware that we had reached out to the city ourselves and discovered their failed inspection. We quickly received response from the sellers agent requesting we not reach out to the city again because we were “delaying the process.” Which makes no sense whatsoever. 

At this point I am running the risk of losing my current apartment before I have my own property to move into. Any advice on this matter will be much appreciated! 

Thank you! 

@Veronica Arnoff Back out of the deal and get your earnest money back ASAP. 

"delaying the process" that had me rolling. 

There's so many red flags and the communication is weird. That certificate doesn't take months to acquire COVID or not. You found this deal and if look harder you'll find a better one. Good luck. 

@Jaron Walling thanks for the response, i appreciate the feedback. 

Honestly I feel legally I should have a better option rather then just giving them what they want and backing out. The place itself is solid, my inspector only found a couple things that needed fixing and those have been completed. I also have a great rate I don’t want to give up.

 They signed the contract saying they will sell to me and have no legal reason to back out. That place should be mine I just need to figure out how to light I a fire underneath them. 

@Veronica Arnoff The sellers are taking advantage of COVID and using it as leverage. I understand your dilemma but without a lawyer reading through the contact with a fine tooth comb you have no way to prove it. 

@Jaron Walling

I have a team of lawyers working with me. Now that I have the email from the inspector proving that the seller is not the one waiting they have definitely moved into action more into action. I believe that’s the reason the agent reached out asking us not to go searching for more information. 

This is why I was thinking I should have other options rather then letting this go and giving in.