Recourse for Delayed Closing?

6 Replies

It is the holiday season and we had a closing date on a duplex of Dec. 6th, which currently has no end in site. The seller's broker has a history of delays, their attorney was running for public office and their title company has lost paperwork. Our NY lawyer will be giving the seller a "Time of the Essence" letter. Do I have any recourse?

Yes, if they are in breach, you can cancel the contract, back out, and not purchase the house. That's the nuclear option.

The threat of that nuclear option may, or may not, be able to get you other concessions.

Originally posted by @Michael Ricklick :

I do not see anything in the contract that states I would lose my earnest money if I back out due to delays; would that be true?

 I have not read your contract.

But, yes, GENERALLY if the contract says both parties agree to close on a certain date, and that date passes with one party unable/unwilling to perform, that party broke the contract. Generally the party looking to enforce that must be doing their part, in extreme cases I have had buyers go all the way to the closing table and sign loan docs, just so they can basically say "hey we did our part, Mr. Seller you must now do yours, or we're backing out and there will be consequence X for you that was specified in the contract we both signed." 

If BOTH parties break the contract (for example, if you've ceased all communication with your lender "because of the seller delays," but your contract says you must act "in good faith" to get a loan... don't do that, keep your LO in the loop, keep the communication alive), the general interpretation is that no one has any legal "high ground" over the other, a court or mediator might go either direction, who knows.

But, I'm not a lawyer. I have not read your contract. Talk to a lawyer. 

Here is the real question......Do you want to buy the property? If yes....then dont get sidetracked by wanting to win.  Closers close deals and learn how to navigate problems.  Winners would rather win at something even if it means not closing. Be a closer, dont be a winner.

@Russell Brazil sir you just said a monthful. In life in general that is good advise as well. “ be a closer, not a winner”. 

The more common way to say it is to , “keep your eye on the ball.”