Losing The Contract

The Dog Ate It

No, the dog didn’t eat your contract…

(This is part of the Selling Grandma’s House series. For the rest of the series, click here)

We were set to close on Grandma’s house last Friday, but it didn’t happen.

At some point, the buyer decided she didn’t want my grandmother’s house anymore. There are a million possible reasons (she’s certainly not telling us the truth), but whatever her reason, last Monday she stopped talking to her realtor and a few days later sent us a certified letter saying her attorney looked over the contract and that we were in violation of it (we weren’t, and if an attorney did look at the contract, then he/she is inept because it’s obvious we weren’t).

After telling her that, she responded a few days later with another bogus attempt to make us look like the bad guys when we did every­thing she asked us to do and kept all our promises.

When closing day rolled around, the only thing she gave us was paperwork asking her for escrow back.

We are fighting for the escrow (since she is in breach of contract and we spent a good chunk of money responding to her requests even though we didn’t have to). So I’ll be learning more about realty than I ever imagined. It’s been frus­trating, but I’m not worried. We’ve already had a few people look at the house and I imagine offers will start coming in rela­tively soon.

Sadly, the whole thing is stressing my grand­mother out.

For now, we’re back at square one. The house is listed and we’re hoping for the best.

Fingers crossed!

7 Responses to “Losing The Contract”

  1. Jon White March 20, 2012 at 9:47 AM #

    Major bummer Alex. Sounds like there is a lot more to the story that you’ll probably never find out. I’m sure this is just a temporary setback and you will find a new buyer in no time.

    • Alex March 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM #

      We did indeed!

  2. Mike Luna March 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM #

    Sorry to hear all that. Maybe she was blackout drunk when she bought it and awoke the following morning full of regret.

    Either way, I’m sure you’ll find somebody who’s not a complete flake before too long.

    • Alex March 22, 2012 at 11:42 AM #

      I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what happened…

  3. Loren Pinilis March 21, 2012 at 10:50 AM #

    What a bummer.
    In North Carolina, they recently changed the way that the contracts work. Instead of putting up like a thousand or so for escrow, you only put up a hundred or so. Then, the buyer can back out for any reason in the next few weeks, no questions asked. If they do, the seller keeps the money. I don’t really know why they switched it (it just took effect January of 2011), but it was nice that it did work out that way. We ended up backing out of a contract on a house in Feb of 2011.

    • Alex March 22, 2012 at 11:43 AM #

      I’ve never heard of that law. I bet it makes it much easier for the buyer to walk away. Yeah, you lose the money, but at least you don’t have to fight over anything.

      With each state’s laws being so different, it’s really important to have an awesome realtor.

  4. ixnayonthetimmay March 23, 2012 at 1:31 AM #

    That is a real shame.

    It is even more puzzling why the potential buyer didn’t just walk away but rather made a big stink about it. I have to wonder how much was the lawyer’s doing, but that is just my natural mistrust of lawyers.

    When I was buying my house, the agents made it very clear that nothing was final until the closing paperwork was signed. The only losses on my part would have been whatever inspec­tion fees I paid, but even my earnest payment would most likely come back to me if I backed away from the deal.

    Maybe laws are different in Florida regarding this kind of last-minute deal breaking. Whatever earnest money this buyer put up, you might consider just forfeiting it just to get this flake out of your life.

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