Q: I’m purchasing a house. But the seller refuses to sign closing paperwork unless I give her $3,000 cash (outside of the deal) for her house payments. The escrow is closing. Am I being blackmailed?

A: Yes, you are. Please hire an attorney to make it clear to the seller that this is unacceptable. If the seller doesn’t want to listen to reason (where is the seller’s agent in all of this?), then you and your attorney can think about suing the seller for specific performance, that is, selling the property for the pre-determined price.

But here’s one thing to think about. If the seller needs the additional funds to close on the home and is several months behind in her mortgage, and the house is now worth less than she owes, her lender might torpedo your deal. Please consult with your real estate attorney for details.