This week was a whirlwind of change. We were supposed to have the closing on our house this weekend, but things started getting rocky early in the week. We had received 2 offers on our house while we were vacationing in Illinois. We accepted the better of the two, the one that had a strong deposit and a pre-approval letter for her home loan. Everything seemed to be going well until Tuesday the week of closing. We received a call from our realtor, that the buyer needed a 2-week extension. We really didn’t want to, as at this point we already had our new apartment lined up and the moving of all our services scheduled … but in the end we decided that we would allow the 2-week extension if the buyer released her deposit to us. We figured that if she released the deposit, then she was sincere and the closing would still happen, albeit, 2 weeks later.
After the extension offer was made, the buyer decided she really didn’t need an extension, she wanted to move in right away, and the reason she asked for the extension was because the bank wanted her reserve to be “seasoned”. Apparently, the money she had on hand for the various closing costs was newly deposited in the bank. There was no record where the money came from, so the bank imposed a mandatory waiting period in order to verify that the money came from an allowable resource (i.e. not another loan or advancement). So they now requested for us to pay toward the closing costs.
The communication was always very poor from the buyer, and we were losing more and more trust with them. We were taking an overall loss on the sale, so we opted not to assist with the closing costs. Later this week, they indirectly asked for the extension again, an unannounced fax just showed up on our realtor’s machine one morning. Their version of the addendum stated just a date change, with no concessions. We created and presented an acceptable version of a 2-week extension addendum, which released the deposit to us, and requested an additional $500 to cover the deposit on the apartment that we would lose because of the date change.
The buyer never signed or returned the addendum, so the only thing we had to go on is the original contract, which had us closing the end of this week. However, since things were shaky, we decided not to sign the lease on the apartment until after the signing on the house was completed. Because of this, we had to change from having a moving company take our possessions to a new apartment to simply having a POD delivered and loaded with all of our stuff. The POD was loaded by noon and was scheduled to be picked up for storage the next day. We continued to wait for our closing in a now-empty house.
At this point, the buyer’s realtor continues to ignore calls from our realtor and her voicemail is so full we can’t leave any additional messages. Our realtor calls the title company where we are supposed to close and they explain they have heard from the buyer, but they are still waiting on the final paperwork. The title company explains that if they receive the paperwork they only need about 2 hours and then we could still have a closing today. Time continues to slip by. We finally get a call at 4:30, the buyer was not able move forward. Their reserve was not met, and they are in breach of contract.
Down to the final minute and with the last word received, we have an empty house and all of our stuff loaded into a POD scheduled to be picked up in the morning. We call an emergency gathering of friends and unload the POD into the garage.
Today Jantina and I spent the day unpacking all of our stuff back into its former place. Talk about a ton of work … we are exhausted.
Our realtor’s attorney informs us that not meeting the reserves on the day of closing is not a legitimate reason for canceling the contract, and that we should be entitled to the entire escrow deposit made by the buyer. Of course, that will be disputed and go into arbitration.. but if we do get that it should at least pay for the expenses we incurred as a direct result of the buyer and her realtor. ($300 POD, $350 movers, $500 apartment deposit, etc.). The buyer’s $2K escrow doesn’t really provide much consolation, but it will help.