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How long is too long to wait for a closing date on a house?

by Jackie

My husband and I fell in love with a lovely little cottage and immediately put an offer on it at the end of May. After a little back and forth, a price was agreed upon and a contract was signed by both parties on June 7th. The contract stated we were to close on or before July 30th. 2016.

We did everything we needed to do in a timely manor, (inspection, deposit, proof of sufficient funds, ect.)in the hopes things would move quickly and we could get into the cottage and enjoy some of the Summer before the cottage would have to be winterized and closed for the season.

July 30th. came and went and we were told the seller lost the abstract, which now needed to be re-done but shouldn't take more then an extra week or two.

The first week in August we received a phone call from a friend to let us know the seller had given the portable dock (which was in the listing) to his daughter.

A call to our attorney and we were reassured that the seller would now have to pay us for the dock he removed or replace it with another dock.

The seller's attorney told our realtor to have us get a closing date, then do a walk through, and then come back to the table to discuss the dock.

The cottage is almost 3 hours away and this Sunday is the only time we would be able to do the 6 hour round trip. We are now told Sunday is no good, the seller is have a big going away party (hurrah for him!).

With another call to our attorney, we were told, no, we need to do a walk through to make sure the seller hasn't gotten rid of anything else, (we our buying the cottage furnished) then whatever is missing, including the dock would be discussed and a final price determined.

We are almost into September, we feel like a ping pong ball, and our patients have wore thin! How long do we have to wait for a closing date and if we back out of the contract, can we sue the seller in small claims court to pay for our attorney fees, inspection, and all our travel time?

Thanks for your help.


Comments for How long is too long to wait for a closing date on a house?

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RE: When is this deal closing?
by: Jeffrey

Hello Jackie,

Thank you for visiting my website and asking your questions. I will share with you what I can given this weird situation.

You're lawyer certainly is guiding you in the correct way.

You did not mention if they have done any addendum(s) to extend the closing date or not. I'm going to assume they have or else the sellers have violated the contract and you would be entitled to your earnest money deposit.

Right now it does not sound like the same deal you put your offer in on. The dock being an example. Without the dock that changes the contract. After you inspect the property you may discover more things missing and have to renegotiate the price.

It sounds like you have done your part to perform to the contract. So you're in control of this situation.

However in most cases, you cannot force a person the sell even if you have held up your end of the bargain.

As far as your out of pocket costs, suing the seller may be an option, but your lawyer would be a better person to consult with on that. I cannot offer legal advice.

Normally closings take place within 45-60 days. It seems to me the seller is making excuses not to sell. You mentioned the seller lost the abstract. His title company should be able to get their hands on that rather quickly I would think.

That along with other things you said just tells me the seller is not really ready to sell the place.

Otherwise, yes you would want to press the seller for a new closing date, inspect the property to see if everything is there according the the listing agreement. If things are missing, well a new price should be established and get it put into writing.

Sorry you're having a difficult time buying your cottage on the lake. I wish you the best.

Please like, share or comment about my website. This site has over 900 pages and is totally FREE for people like you to use.

Kind Regards,


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