Selling Home of Deceased Parents

rozie123March 30, 2012

I am in the process of selling a home that belonged to my parents (now deceased). The house has been on the market for 8 months and we finally have a buyer. We were all set to close today but the buyer's buyer has delayed siting "family emergency." I am having a very hard time believing this excuse. My buyer is paying cash but the sale of my house is contigent on her selling her house. To my knowledge there is no contingency on the sale of my buyer's home. I've been told by my attorney that there is nothing they can do but wait for my buyer's attorney to get a new closing date. My buyer really wants to buy my house and is also upset about this. How long can they delay this? Can they delay indefinitely? I really don't want to send a "Letter to perform" to my buyer since this is not her fault, but this process has been so frustrating!

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First - sorry for your loss. I'm sure it is very stressful time and this is just adding to it.

With that said, there really is nothing for you to do. Sometimes closings get delayed. As long as the sale still looks like it will go through, just sit back and let it play its course.

On a related note, it really doesn't do you any good to assume the worst about people you have never met. If the buyer's buyer has a family emergency, chances are, they do. It isn't going to help you at all to speculate on whether they are lying or not anyway.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Bill, thanks for your post. You are right, of course. Unfortunately this has been a very stressful time for me. And again, you are right. Maybe they do have a family emergency, but I would think at this late stage, they could be a little more forthcoming about the nature of the "emergency" and set a new closing date. My husband says it is just "business" and I shouldn't be so "obsessed," but I am the executrix and I have a lot of obligations to settle the estate. I feel like no one really understands what I am going through, or sympathizes and it is easier said that done to just sit back and let the process work its way through, even though I know I have no choice in the matter.

Sometimes just talking about it relieves some of my stress. Truth is: I have been stressed at every level of this process. I was feeling so confident that once all the contingencies were settled and a closing date set I was home free. I guess not and it hurts.

But again, thanks for your post.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 1:10PM
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Believe me, I certainly do understand the stress of the process. Have been executrix for 2 estates in the past 5 years. Currently, of my aunt's estate. Even though I've been diligent and done EVERYTHING required in a very timely manner, it's been 15 months since she died and still I haven't been able to distribute (thanks to the STATE dragging their heels).

Anyway, I know, when you're so anxious for something like that to happen so you can move on to the next step... well, it's easy to believe the worst. However, I honestly think, if this came up last minute? It's more likely legitimate than not. A family emergency could be a lot of things--think about your own life--that one might not want to broadcast to the world. Give it a few days/a week, and see what happens. Hoping that things work out for you and you can move on and find peace. You never really are able to relax until all is settled, are you? Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 1:33PM
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Thanks Azzalea. You're right. It is very hard to find peace and I keep telling my husband that once this is over things will be better.

My "gut" tells me the house will sell and the closing will go through, but I know so little about real estate and this was the only offer we received and we had to lower the price a lot! This whole year has been a nightmare losing my parents within 6 weeks of each other.

Thank you for your kind words.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 4:22PM
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Have your agent call your buyers agent who should be in contact with the other agent who should be able to give everyone exact details on what is going on and when a new closing date should be scheduled.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 8:24PM
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"thanks to the STATE dragging their heels"

Now you know why trusts have been used by many folks to avoid the entire probate system.

The successor trustee simply distributes according to the terms of the trust with relatively little state involvement.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 9:13AM
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Actually, it was some of the so-called 'estate planning' that WAS the problem in this case--don't get me started on how badly those attempts to avoid probate and taxes can turn out!!!! If it weren't for that, I'd have had this estate settled back in September of '11

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 9:34AM
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I did speak to my realtor today. Now I find out that both my buyer and her buyer are very anxious for the deal to go through. It is the Buyer's Buyer's Buyer (as if that makes any sense!) who has the "family emergency." I have come to the conclusion that this could mean absolutely anything and there is a good possibility that I will have to put the house back on the market. We had so much trouble getting an offer since, in this buyer's market, people can be extremely picky. The patio faces an access road (this is in a 55 and over community). Otherwise the house is in great shape. It's just the idea of starting over again makes me almost ill. But who knows how many "other buyers" there are down the line.

Remind myself this is just business.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:27AM
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Even in a good market, it is ill advised to take the home off the market for a triple contingency. There are way too many chances in this market that one of them will have a hiccup, and throw everthing downline off.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 1:54PM
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Unfortunately, we were not advised that there were any other contingencies. In fact, we were told that my buyer's contract had no contingency (according to our realtor). Truth is: I don't know what the issue is, but as per my contract with my buyer, I was required to remove my house from listing as was my buyer. We still don't know what this "family emergency" is. Perhaps it really is a family emergency. Anything is possible I guess.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 3:37PM
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Just heard from my realtor and my buyer's realtor has notified her that we are scheduled to close on April 9th.

Will let all of you who commented so kindly if things go off without a hitch.

Wish me luck!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 6:33PM
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Oh, that sounds promising!!! Will keep my fingers crossed that everything from here on is smoothe and stress-free for you!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 6:05PM
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Well, here it is Wednesday and still no official word. I spoke with my attorney's office on Monday and they are still trying to verify the closing on Monday. I am about to lose my mind. I think it is possible that my buyer's attorney is waiting for the other transaction to close (the buyer of his client's house) before he schedules the closing, but I can't even get confirmation of that! I am trying to stay calm but this is very disturbing. We have in our contract that if the house does not close by April 10th then we can back out. Of course we would have to give the buyer her earnest money back and the house would have to go back on the market and if there were any offers, they would likely be less than what we are getting now. I am disinclined to back out right after the 10th as long as I have a reasonable expectation that this will happen. My husband is saying that we shouldn't give them much time after the 10th to make this happen and should put the house back on the market and give her right of first refusal if we get an offer. My buyer does not have any other means to purchase the house and she has taken a big hit on hers. She wants the house, has been trying to move to this community for 2 years, so I know she is motivated. My emotions are in turmoil at this time.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:32AM
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