We listed our farm in CA with a realtor several months ago. Another realtor brought a buyer and we entered into a buy sell agreement with a 60 day close which would be Aug 6th. Two days ago our realtor called to say the buyers weren’t happy with their interest rate and pulled the plug on their loan. Now they are starting all over finding financing. This could take a month or more. I have paid a horse transport a deposit, a deposit on a moving van and we could lose the new property we are purchasing because we had a simultaneous close scheduled. No one has given us any paperwork to agree to an extension and our realtor could care less that we have thousands invested in this move. What, if any, recourse do I have? I feel both realtors should have been keeping tabs on the financing.
Read your listing contract and the purchase agreement the buyer signed
When you buy a home in California, you must sign a purchase contract that is the official document that will spell out who/what/when/how
Just my guess as I am not a real estate agent nor an attorney but worked with contracts for decades there would need to be an escape clause in the buyer contract that allows them to change financing once submitted.
(By the was not all Real Estate Agents are Realtors, The word Realtor is a trademark referring to someone who’s an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR)… learned in one of my contract law classes)
Also for any one else doing a simultaneous closing it is wise to have a bridge loan pre-approved for cases such as OP
Thanks! There isn’t an escape clause and the buy/sell agreement specifically names the lender and terms of their financing. Our agent basically said we can’t hold them to the terms of the contract. I don’t see any purpose of a contract if it isn’t binding. Our agent is the broker at her agency and has years of experience. So I’m more than a little surprised at her attitude. I guess our next step is a real estate attorney. Our contract for our new property gives us until Oct 1 to close but we thought a simultaneous close would be best. But we do have some leeway.
sort isn’t… if they were denied financing then usually it nullifies the contract…but seeking a lower financing rate is not being denied.
So what Does Your Agent say, other then oh well we need to wait? You may want to talk with a real estate attorney, often they will will listen for free (and having a Real real estate attorney represent you at the closings…cheapest money I ever spent was having representation at real estate closings when buying and selling as they knew what they were being handed)
We have a letter from their lender stating the amount of financing they are approved for and the amount of down payment they have. It stated the interest rate of 4.99% . That is obviously high but that was the information they provided us. Our realtor has been trying to talk us into carrying a contract for them at 6%. We are not in a situation to carry a contract. So we feel there is more going on than we are being told.
I agree. It’s time to contact a real estate attorney. I want to find out if I can hold anyone (buyers, realtor, etc) responsible for the expenses I’ve incurred , such as vet bills for coggins, deposit for horse transporter, etc.
The weird thing is their realtor contacted us 2 weeks ago wanting to close early. Wondering how they thought they would close early with no financing in place.
That is very high in today’s world. I would wonder how tenuous their finances really are, and if they are really in a position to have made an offer on your place to begin with!
I have to wonder why they suddenly think this is too high when they did not think it was too high when they made the offer?
Didn’t they put up earnest money with their bid? When I was trying to sell part of my farm, my agent collected earnest money, the buyer backed out and I kept the earnest money. I also had to put up earnest money when I bought a house with the knowledge if I backed out, the seller keeps the money.
couple of items … the coggins at least here is good for one year however a health certificate for shipping interstate is only good for 30 days… so some of the expenses may not expire within the time frame
If they Did not have financing or were denied a loan then the buyer’s contract is normally null
The first house we sold we did carry a second mortgage with a hefty down payment that matured in five years (it was a balloon note) The note carried an at the time reasonable rate of 15%. The buyer was faithful until the last six months then defaulted. We could have taken the house back but allowed them to sell it on their own. Our real estate attorney oversaw the process as we then lived a thousand miles away… his fees were then under a thousand dollars.
When we purchased a home here we were able to list the mortgage that we carried as a source of additional income
Our shipper required the coggins to be done within 30 days of the shipping date, same for the health certificate.
Exactly our thoughts. We feel there is much more going on that we aren’t being told. They apparently had $225,000 to put down, but I’m getting the feeling they may have spent some of that and now the lender wants more interest.
They did put $5000 earnest money down but our agent said we won’t keep it if they default. According to her the contract isn’t enforceable, which to my layman’s mind is ridiculous. Why have a contract then?
I’d be talking with a real estate lawyer right quick.
I’d also be telling my realtor that if her contracts aren’t enforceable, I’m pulling my listing from her & going elsewhere. There’s be nothing she can do, since she states her contracts don’t hold up
Please ask her why there is a contract if it is not enforceable.
Or maybe this is a case of her not wanting to be that person who actually enforces the contract.
Yeah, MAJOR red flags with this real estate agent. In my experience with personal home buying/selling, many agents will undercut their clients in order to make a deal. (The agent of course will say they’re just trying to save home sellers from their own unrealistic expectations, which may be true also.) The listing agent for this farm we own now actually pulled us aside at the open house and told us “they’ll accept way below the asking price, just offer something above XXX and I’ll get them to accept.”
Get a lawyer, pronto – I agree with @clanter , real estate lawyers are worth every penny. Especially since your own agent in this deal sounds like she’ll undersell you in order to just get a deal, any deal.
Write a letter today to the realtor and their broker to document that you expect all contracts to be enforced, including the earnest money and ask them to confirm in writing they will do so.
The contract isn’t enforceable? Then I guess you don’t have to pay the agreed commission?
Laugh! I love this.
Why am I sure they will say that part is enforceable.
@Cymru, when you can please update us on what your lawyer says. (Realizing it might have to wait until all of this is done.)
I think what the broker might be trying to say is that you can’t force the buyer to actually BUY the place, but you are supposed to be able to keep the EM to offset that possible scenario. If agent said you also could not have the EM then there is starting to be a problem. The contract states the rules of the purchase, but can’t force the purchase, if that makes sense. If they are buying it then the contract is enforceable though not easily.
Their pre-approval letter that you saw (not pre-qual, right?) isn’t binding; their lender could have dropped them or they could have dropped the lender. We saw a lot of people that would get a letter from one lender and then start shopping around after they found a house to buy, and often switch. That owner carry talk is bad though and your agent should have gotten aggressive about financing updates when it was first brought up, not encourage you to do it. She should have also been backtracking to other showings you had to try to get a back-up offer in place before now.
Your title company has your contract (I assume); call them and find out their stance on the situation and your EM. Somewhere on your contract should have been a financing contingency option-if they took it, there is a deadline. If they did not take it, they have to return your EM. In concept.
If they wanted new financing they should be able to do that in a few days, not have a month to shop it around. Back in the old days when we would sometimes see a buy/sell before the buyer was pre-approved the buyers would have one week to get their financing. Your buyers have had at least a few days before this and until Friday to get new or stay with what they have. I’d not do an extension or a termination; let it run out. This contract is dead on Friday without an extension.
Your agent should have been up the hiney of the other agent for financing updates; it’s possible this could come together but now that you have distrust of your agent and your buyer it’s getting dicey. The reddest flag I saw was that your agent suggested the owner carry; that’s almost always code for “can’t get financed”. They could have bought a new truck, had underwriting problems, lots of reasons they could be regrouping or in trouble but if they want the place I’d more have expected that they just switched lenders, not ask for more time.
If you want to get your agent where it hurts, contact your local and state realtor’s association. They and hopefully NAR are the ones that can fine and oversee your agent. If I remember, you said your agent is also the broker at her office so her only supervisor is the association. (I assume-I am licensed in a different state so everything I say is under that shadow) I’d save that move until your deal is dead and she is no longer representing you though. If your house goes back to market that would in a way be the time to switch agents, but would also cost you time. Working it out with these buyers is the quickest way to get to close but obviously not an appealing prospect right now. Is this current agent also your agent for your purchase? (hope not for your sake!)
Generally, the two sides are only supposed to communicate through their agents so you might not get any response at all from the other office. Your agent is dropping the ball but honestly, if their agent is fighting for them to get this house s/he is actually doing a good job for them by getting them to closing week and still trying to get financed. And apparently has convinced your agent to try to get them owner carry! gads
CA contracts have many many words on them; read through that closely to see what it says about EM; I can’t see a reason you don’t get that. Sadly, that is where you recoup your incurred costs for the shipping that could be lost. I would love to see you get that money back in addition to the EM but in my experience, I’ve never seen anyone get it. Also have not seen anyone get a RE attorney at this stage though so it might be worth a look. Generally, I’ve not seen agent play well with attorneys that are checking them out. You’re probably going to have to switch agents if you call her out.
You probably haven’t seen an extension b/c they haven’t reached the deadline yet and they are trying to see how the wind is blowing before they take the time to do the (short quick) document, or they know they can’t get the money at the rate they want. Either way, you should have a minimum of 24 hours to sign so I would think if you don’t see it on Thurs your deal officially is on its deathbed. You’re not getting any genuine intent signals from them and that is not good.
I’ll say again, I’m not licensed in CA so these are just out-of-state thoughts that might help.
Dat’s some bullshit right there
Dat’s some good advice right there
In all seriousness (tho I agree with my above statements and would be screaming mad right now if I was you (and guzzling pepto for that ulcer this is causing)), I had to do a quick extension for a week because my lender effed up and it takes literally no time at all. The buyer’s agent should just have template, put in the names and new date, and done. In my case, I had a horrible, HORRIBLE, lender and when I complained to the regional manager, he flat told me she screwed up and then asked what exactly I expected him to do about it. Yeah exactly. I will bad mouth her and the bank to anyone who will listen.
This is looking super weird for you OP, and I’m curious what the heck your agent is thinking.
You’re right that an extension can be done in two seconds flat. Which for some realtors means they can wait until the last minute but one or both of these agents know already if it’s needed or if it’s a lost cause already and the poor buyer will be the last to know.