a day late leaves seller few dollars short
Real Estate Adviser,
If closing is late on the sale of my property and I am not at fault
and no extension was asked for by anyone, why do I have to pay more?
-- T. Hawk
Good question. This might be a good time to pull out the sale
contract and see just what, if anything, you're owed as a result of the delay.
You don't specify, but for each day's delay the seller continues to pay principal
and interest on the mortgages, taxes, utilities and other expenses including,
possibly, added legal fees for having representation appear for a closing that
If there is no specific language that entitles you
to damages from a postponement on the buyer's side, then you're
Very often, hitches arise at the last minute, and there's
a good chance the buying party didn't realize the closing would be delayed until
the last second, thus no extension was requested. If you were informed of the
delay and consented to it unconditionally (albeit reluctantly) then you probably
missed your chance for compensation. A good agent or real estate attorney -- assuming
you're using one or the other -- should be able walk you through the documents
you've signed so you can understand the consequences of conditions that aren't
A tip for the future: If the buyers have to delay the
closing again, register your objection with their agent or attorney and demand
that language be added to the contract obliging the buyers to assume responsibility
for any continuing costs for the house. That might expedite things. But be careful
about taking too much of a hard-line approach, especially if you are getting your
price and everything else in the transaction appears to be in order. Sometimes,
"attitude" can bust a deal.
Although most closings
occur on time, the process can be a fluid one because dozens of little things
can cause big delays, and not all of them fall under the control of the buying
party. Money can be tied up, loan documents may be missing or incorrect, unexpected
title issues may arise, a death in the family may occur, the buyers' home sale
may fall through or a simple communication gap between parties can prevail.
lenders are randomly audited by internal forces or outside regulators, and that
can delay closings. Such routine reviews don't mean there is anything necessarily
wrong with your deal, by the way.
Usually, it's best to remain as flexible as possible
in the process while maintaining a running dialogue between agents
and the buying and selling parties.
That helps take some of the guesswork and angst out
of the equation.
wishes for a happy closing.