A short (maybe? I'll try) backstory is that we lived in California for a year in a pretty little rental on a few acres with lots of chickens, cats, a dog, some ducks... it was pretty idyllic. DH's studio closed and he got lots of job offers and chose something in Seattle, WA. I have family in Portland, OR, where we're from. We decide to move, but the rental market up there is really, really bad. I need a little farm to be happy and meet our homeschooling goals. Anyway, we decided to buy something. DH rents a little room in Seattle and comes down on weekends, where I live with the pets, kids and my mom and step dad, in Portland. Our chickens can't be at my mom's, though, and are living with a friend about an hour away from here. So we're all spread out, and I'm also pregnant, and it just kind of stinks. Our relationship has not flourished under these conditions, to put it mildly. We also started looking for a house in November when the housing market was just rotten, so it has been frustrating.
Finally, last week, and after a bidding war, we got an offer accepted on a little house with almost four acres, a little barn, coop, pond, fenced pasture, and shop. Yay! We thought the last big hurdle was inspection.
BUT NO. The sellers freaked out, have refused inspection and are saying they don't want to sell anymore. They're under contract, and it's a good one, so they really don't have a choice. I hate the idea of forcing someone out of their home, but at the same time I haven't been able to live with my husband for months. I haven't been able to live with my chickens for months. I am in a tiny, dark basement with two kids, three cats and a huge dog that was not meant for city life. All our things are packed in storage including my maternity clothes. We sent a letter offering to keep their two goats and rent them back the shop for a month or so if they need more time to move out, and to discuss giving them a bit more time in the house, but we haven't heard from them. I feel bad for them - I really do. They're an older (not elderly) couple who are getting ready to retire and move into a condo, from what I understand. But at the same time, they signed the contract. They could have backed out at any point before now and they didn't. We haven't been looking at other houses because we signed the contract to buy this one. We gave them the earnest money. I want my house! I want to settle in and find a midwife before I'm huge and can't do much. I'm so frustrated that they're doing this.
Well shoot, I'd feel bad for them too, but like you said-they signed the contract. Sounds like this house is meant to be for you! Get excited!
Good luck, I'll keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Congrats on your new baby
Mommy to Adilene Faithand Damon LeeWife of Joshua
Breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering x2
I wonder if you offered to drop the contract for a $10,000 payment from them? I have heard of that being done.
In reality though they are under contract and there is no reason for you to walk away from the purchase. You might need to go to court to enforce it though.
Nonononono. And I say that as someone closer to their age and situation than to yours. They signed a contract, and they need to work through whatever they're feeling within that. I'd also suggest only having contact with them through either your real estate agent or an attorney. Document everything, and full speed ahead. This agreement is a commitment, not a suggestion.
What a disaster for you! I can only imagine how you must feel!
Actually, I have been in a similar situation. Several years ago, we tried to buy a house. The owner had passed away, and his siblings were selling it. Our bid was accepted, and we entered into a contract. We paid the earnest money and everything, and were proceeding with the loan paperwork. Out of the blue, a lady came forward and claimed she had a contract on the house first. We had no knowledge of this beforehand, but the seller's agent did know and did not disclose this to us!
The lady had a contract with the seller, a good faith type of deal, where he promised that she would have the first chance to buy the house. She even paid him earnest money, and had the cashed check to prove it. The seller had promised her the house at a much lower price, and I guess they realized they could make almost twice as much if they sold it through a realtor. When she found out, she went to the court and filed paperwork (lis pendens), and we were unable to proceed with the purchase. We did receive our earnest money and inspection fees back from the seller, but we were heartbroken! This place was PERFECT! It had a huge 2 story workshop for me, and a lake out front!! I still miss it :( Fortunately, we found another house, which is where we now live....3 years later!! It took that long for us to get over the loss and move forward again.
I hope this works out for you. Hearing your story upsets me, because I've been in a similar type of situation, where a great house is snatched back away--even while under contract!!
"Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses."
~Captain Hammer (j/k, it was Plato)
Exactly. It's not as though you're arbitrarily kicking them out of their house. They had as much time as they wanted to think about it before putting their house on the market, and they then had all the time while the sale was being arranged and going through, and, if they don't really want to leave their house, they could have made that decision at absolutely any point along the way. (Like, for example, BEFORE THEY PUT IT ON THE MARKET.)
They didn't. Instead, they went through with the sale, thereby involving you and putting you in a position where you spent time on buying their house instead of looking at other houses (in a situation where your time for making this sort of decision is somewhat limited in practical terms). So, yes, now they can follow through. Sure, feel bad for them in the sense of feeling bad on behalf of a person who's going through something difficult; just don't feel guilty, because this isn't anything you're doing to them, it's a situation they got themselves into.
As for giving them an extra month, that was a very kind offer of yours, but, since they haven't responded to it, I think you can take it that they didn't feel it helped. If their problem is with leaving the house, then it may well be that having a month more or less in it doesn't make any real difference to them. In any case, since they don't seem enthused enough about the offer of an extra month to bother replying, I think you can reasonably decide that trying to make concessions isn't going to help, and just get on with doing whatever you have to do legally to get this sorted out.
Thank you so much, everyone! I really appreciate the replies and advice. If anyone is interested in an update, this is where we're at. Someone (I'm assuming their agent) let them know that based on the contract they signed, if they chose not to go forward with the sale that both their listing agent and our agent would probably sue them (I think for the lost commission). We would have pursued getting an attorney, and they probably would have ended up being ordered to accept our money, hand over the title and reimburse us for the attorney fees. There was no way for them to back out of the contract. So, although we hadn't sent a letter through an attorney or anything they decided it was best to go ahead with the sale. We have an inspection scheduled for tomorrow. It's actually the first time I'll be seeing the house, so I'm very excited! I just hope it goes well. We certainly aren't out of the woods, but I am thankful they have decided to proceed without us having to take any action against them. I am hoping that it will come to a point where they are able to be happy with their choice and glad they are passing their little farm along to a family that will love and care for it. And hopefully not move for a very long time, because at this point I don't ever want to buy a house again!