Seller Trying to Back Out of Contract - Posted by Elizabeth NJ
Posted by Elizabeth NJ on March 20, 2006 at 18:44:09:
Well this is a first for me. I now have a “hostile” seller.
I signed a contract to purchase a property. The owner has been in & out of my office numerous times over the past few years to make copies, send faxes, etc. so we’re not total strangers. She said she wanted to sell her house and after discussion of when she wanted to move (has a kid in school), what her plans were etc., I prepared a contract incorporating accommodations to her [move after school ends].
I told her I would call her the following week to make arrangements for my contractor to get into the house to assess rehab costs. No problem.
Last week, she came into my office and “ordered” me to tear up her contract. I said I’m not prepared to do that & asked her what had caused the change of heart. First, she said I don’t want to sell; then she said I want to sell to a family member; and finally she said I want to sell to a friend. I told her under no circumstances would I tear up the contract and instructed her to consult with an attorney. In the meantime, my atty has sent certified mail informing the seller that the contract is legally binding. [I wrote it and I’m not stupid – the only escape clause is for me.]
I have spoken with the attorney the seller consulted with and he told me that he has informed his client that the contract is in fact legally binding and suggested that she cooperate in moving this transaction forward.
I don’t want to be doing business with someone I have to threaten to bring to the closing table. On the other hand, my office & this property are in a pretty pricey area and I’m absolutely positive that someone is in her ear with whispers of more money, etc.
My purchase price is well in line with other properties similar to hers in the area & hers needs a great deal of rehab.
In any event, I intend to go forward and close according to the terms in the contract. [I filed a notice of settlement today.]
Has anyone had to deal with a hostile seller and how did you handle the transaction?
There’s no question that I will complete the transaction, but I don’t want to have to watch my back thru the whole deal.
I welcome your thoughts.