Yes, of course, your fully executed Residential Purchase Agreement for the Mission Viejo home of your dreams and all of the sequentially numbered Counter Offers (the big fancy technically accurate California Association of Realtors name for “the contract”) dictate who needs to do what by when in order for a large sum of money to be transferred from you to the seller for the acquisition of real property, more commonly referred to as a buying or selling a house or a condo, here in Orange County CA. But just take my word for it, it’s not always about what’s been agreed to in black and white that counts.
So, if you find yourself in escrow to buy that Mission Viejo dream home – (or it could be in Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch, Rancho Santa Margarita or Laguna Niguel – where ever you are buying or selling in Orange County,) under the terms of “the contract”, and the other guy doesn’t do exactly what he signed up to do in the timeframe he agreed to do it – what do you do? Well, it depends. Here’s why.
Imagine you are simultaneously in escrow to buy another house or condo in Orange County (you do need a roof over your head, right?) the completion of which cannot occur unless the sale of your current home is successful. Leaving you with a pile of money to bring to the seller of your new house or condo. The stage is set.
So what if the buyer of your Orange County house – upon whom you are totally and completely dependent to really and truly by your house so you have the money to by the other house – does one of his required steps a day late? I heard you gasp. You shout out “What?”
Let’s play a little game and pretend the buyer was late in – oh, IDK – you check the box:
- Sending in his deposit money
- Removing his inspection contingency
- Removing his appraisal contingency
- Removing his buyer’s inspection contingency
- Removing his loan approval contingency
Do you immediately issue a Cancellation of Contract notice? Maybe.
Do you immediately hire a Real Estate Attorney to sue the buyer for non-performance? Unlikely.
Do you immediately run down to the County Courthouse, get your grievance on the docket for arbitration and wait an undefined time for an Arbitrator, usually a retired judge or lawyer with absolutely no requirement to have any specific knowledge of Real Estate Law, who may rule in favor of the other party?
The point is, it depends. The contract is there to protect both the buyer and the seller. And doesn’t take into consideration Summer Vacation, honest mistakes, someone else’s missed deadline, or complete absent-mindedness. It’s up to you to decide to either forgive or overlook the non-compliance, or pursue legal recourse. Just make sure you have your ultimate goal in mind. And if your ultimate goal is to buy or sell that Mission Viejo house or condo, you may have to bring in some forgiveness.
I’m Leslie Eskildsen – just keeping it real in Mission Viejo, Orange County Real Estate