Q: I just have to vent a bit about my impending move to my new home. It’s totally my fault for not being more careful on my contract.
My husband and I gave the sellers 14 days to vacate the premises at no charge. In retrospect, it was a huge mistake. But we were told at the time that the 14 days was a deal-breaker and if we didn’t agree, the sellers wouldn’t sell to us.
Now that we’ve closed, the sellers refuse to tell us when they’re moving. It’s been impossible to set firm dates on our move, schedule utilities, schedule the final walk through, schedule days off work, etc.
I told my agent over the weekend — I may have been yelling at this point — that, in hindsight, I would have rather lost the house than agreed to this deal. I guess I’m just still incredulous how inconsiderate this couple is.
Is there anything we can do now to fix this problem?
A: It never pays to be that nice in real estate. Your real estate attorney should have been smart enough to hold back funds from the closing. That would have given them an incentive to move. You might have also agreed to start charging them a steep per-diem fee on day 15.
Your attorney, if you had one, has misrepresented your interests — unless he told you this might happen and counseled you strongly against it. I’d have your attorney contact the seller’s attorney and let him/her know that you will be filing a lawsuit on day 15 if they’re not out of there. You need to get some leverage so you can get control back of the situation.
If you’re buying in a state in which attorneys aren’t typically used to close residential house deals, your situation is a perfect example of why attorneys should be used to go over the fine details in a contract and make sure the buyer’s and seller’s interests are well protected.