Post # 1
So, DH and I finally found a house and our offer was accepted. We opened escrow right around Thanksgiving. About a week into the escrow a pipe broke in the ceiling and flooded the house. We had record lows in the area and the house is not occupied. From what we were told the ceiling, a few walls, and all the flooring needs to be replaced/repair. We were told that the sellers insurance would cover all the repairs.
We contained with everything on our end and everything (down payment, loan approval) has been ready to go for almost 2 weeks now. I spoke to my realtor today, escrow ends in just a few days and now the sellers are thinking of backing out. We had a 45 day escrow.
No one has any idea how the repairs are going. There was talk between our realtor and the listing agent about us being able to choose the flooring, paint, etc. but nothing has ever come of it. I’m just a little confused about this whole thing. I believe that the seller cannot just back out but with escrow ending I’m getting a little nervous. I also know that this house had a lot of interest. When we made the offer it had to be quick as other offers were coming in. The offer we submitted was at the asking price.
Just for information the listing agent and our realtor are in the same office/agency. I might also add that I’m 17 weeks pregnant.
I guess the home is in a trust conspiring of 5 brothers apparently they do not get along and have been very difficult to contact and deal with.
The good thing is that we have not given our 30 day notice to our landlord yet.
Feel free to ask any questions. Thanks in advance.
Post # 3
So what is the seller wanting to do? It’s going to have to get fixed whether they sell to you or someone else.
I hope it works out for you!
Post # 4
@kcaggiebiz: It’s a break of contract. You will get your escrow money back. You can technically sue them too, but that is likely to cost you a lot of money too. Talk to your realitor, as they know how to deal with this.
To be honest, if the house is broke and they aren’t fixing it, espeically with water damage, I would likely be glad if they cut it on their end. Water damage can cause a lot of hidden damage that I just wouldn’t want to deal with.
Post # 5
I hate to think the worst of people, but do the sellers think that once the insurance covers the cost of a new ceiling/walls/flooring/painting they will be able to put the house back up and get more money for it? I would let the realtor know you intend to speak to your lawyer and maybe it will scare them out of it.
Post # 6
Could it also be that once they opened the walls, floors, and ceilings they found a big problem that they either did not know about before or was not seen during the inspection? And since they now know about it they are required by law to inform the buyer about it, which could significantly reduce the price of the house.
Anyway you choose to proceed, I would do it with caution.
Post # 7
@KitKatNYC: With these people I think that this may be the reason.
The other one could be they do not want to pay the deductable.
Wish we could just walk away. Its just makes me sick to think that all the time and energy invest would go to waste. Plus we have been looking for over a year and there is really no other homes that would work for us.
So, tired of living in limbo and sick of our rental.
Post # 8
@GFerg: They might think they can get away with sell it.
Post # 9
Thanks everyone. I really do not want to sue them. My realtor is going to call when she has more information.
Post # 10
That REALLY sucks! I hope they don’t back out!
Post # 11
I mean, if both realtors are in the same office, can’t they get into the house via the lockbox and check on things? It’s unoccupied and I am sure they can find a way to get in.
Even if the seller just gives you a CREDIT for the damn damage, that would be better than backing out!!!
Post # 12
@odynsmom: From what I understand at this point due to the water damage they have to do any repairs and they can not change the price. But, we do not know as they have never contact us.
Post # 13
@CakeyP: True but I do not think our lender would go for that.
Post # 14
@kcaggiebiz: I don’t know – I personally would walk away based only on the information you’ve given so far. You should get your escrow $$ back if they can’t transfer the property.
Here’s why I’d walk away – when I was in college, we had a pipe burst and needed to replace all of the flooring of my childhood home. Simple, right? Just flooring – no walls or ceiling. It was covered by our homeowner’s insurance.
It took 2.5 MONTHS to pull out the floors and replace the carpeting and vinyl flooring. Nothing complicated. And then months and months and months of fighting with insurance to get all the bills paid. Is that something you want to deal with? What if the repairmen miss some mold?
They have to do repairs, but if you’ve taken possession of the house and moved in, and then discover shoddy repairs, what then? It just sounds like a huge potential headache / big risk.
It really sucks that you’ve found your dream home and then this 🙁
Post # 15
I’d also write the sellers a letter and tell them you need information quickly, as you’re preganant and need a home for your child. In the mean time, honestly? I’d look for another house.
Post # 16
It’s hard to advise you because the laws on real estate vary state-to-state. Some states tend to be a very buyer-friendly state and buyers can drop out of a sale pretty much whenever and incur minimal penalties (although I don’t know what the penalty is for escrow, I know that at least up until escrow, in some states you can pretty much cite anything, from bad wiring to ghosts and pull out without being charged. Other states will demand a fee if you do that.) I don’t think that in my state someone can sue just for dropping out of escrow–deals fall through a lot and it can be something outside of the seller/buyer’s control (such as a problem with the bank)–especially if there’s some unforseen circumstance like a flood.
With trusts, it can get very complicated and messy. Some of the children might be attached to the house and not want it to go to ‘certain people’ or to go at all; some people really want the house for their own children or whatever but isn’t offering enough to buy the others out and therefore retaliates by refusing to sell their portion; some might just want it out of their hands and fighting with others who are convinced it’s worth a million dollars and therefore expect to receive $250K as their cut–when told, no, it’s actually worth maybe $400K and their portion will be more like $70K after expenses, they’ll refuse to sell or want to wait for a better offer or for the market to turn up. All these issues come up, especially among so many trustees. If the realtor tells you it’s hard because of family issues, then that’s just another uphill battle (sadly) for you.
In short, I think that the sale sounds like it’s going to be an arduous one. If you really love the house and it’s not going to cost you a huge amount in fees/penalties for hiccups, then go ahead and try your best. But you know, there are a lot of other houses out there….Talk to your realtor.