I had a settlement on a home I own in Philadelphia scheduled today. The buyer could not close because he didn't refinance another property thereby not having the money to settle on mine today. Problem is he didn't check any mortgage contingency on contract. Selected as is, cash purchase,. I feel that this is a breach of contract, and my question is am I legally able to cancel our agreement, move on in another direction (refinance and rent, or sell to another buyer). Question is..what happens to his 5,000.00 deposit money? What about the realestate agent..won't he be agry? Who pays for the title company fees (title was ordered etc). Am I at risk for a law suit? Buyer claims they can settle next week, but I have not signed an addendum nor has my listing agent given me one.
2 Answers from Attorneys
If there is a Realtor, the Realtor is probably holding the deposit. S/he cannot release the deposit without the written consent of the seller and the buyer. While the buyer's failure to close on the scheduled date, especially if that was the contract deadline, is a default, what would you gain by canceling the agreement? It would take you time to find another buyer, refi or tenant. Would you lose anything by waiting a week to see if the buyers can settle next week as they claim? Title insurance is usually purchased by buyer, so buyer would have to pay if the closing doesn't happen. And why would you be at risk for a law suit.
If you are not represented by a lawyer, you should be consulting one. Although Realtors cannot practice law, they have probably seen similar situations and can answer some of your question.
If the property doesn't settle within the next couple of weeks, definitely consult a lawyer to review your options.
THIS RESPONSE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE, SINCE I DO NOT HAVE ALL OF THE INFORMATION THAT WOULD BE REQUIRED, AND I DO NOT HAVE A REPRESENTATION AGREEMENT WITH YOU.
* If the answers to your question confirm that you have a valid issue or worthwhile claim, your next step should almost always be to establish a dialog with a lawyer who can provide specific advice to you. Contact a lawyer in your county or township.
* Another reason for contacting a lawyer is that it is often impossible to give a good answer in the Internet Q&A format without having more information. The unique circumstances of your situation and things that you may not have thought to mention in your question may completely change the answer. If you want to be sure that you have a complete answer to your question and an understanding of what that answer means, establish a connection with a lawyer who practices in the area of your concern.
The attorney gave you excellent advice. I would speak with an attorney immediately if you do not have one to review the Agreement of sale you signed to see what remedies are available shouls this matter not work out properly.