Alright, this is a wild ride and I’m sorry about the wall of text. I’m just looking for advice and/or reassurance because both myself and my agent are at a loss.
The property sits on the market for 40+ days, 3bd/2ba 1500+sqft and being sold as is for 365k. The reason it sat for as long as it did was due to a month to month tenant not maintaining the interior of the home and as such, it’s cosmetically a little rough, not a big deal to me because both myself and my family are more handy than most. We make an offer (375k, 20% down payment, 10k earnest money, 3 week close) and it’s accepted on 9/16 — but have to do a longer close due to tenant and seller agrees to have tenant out by closing on 10/31 at sellers expense. Inspection goes great, with the only issue being the 20 year roof is nearing the end of its life (less than 5 years left in his estimate) and there’s a shingle and waterproofing missing, with no signs of water damage or mold in the attic. I really, really want this house and I agree to make the repair at my own expense. That all goes off without a hitch.
We were told at the jump that the seller and her family were motivated, as the seller is terminally ill, which could mean months from mutual acceptance or weeks from mutual acceptance, and that the listing agent is the seller’s son In law. We had no other indications as to her condition. My agent gets a phone call on 10/13, a Wednesday, that the seller is being moved to hospice care and that they want to put the rush on. The appraisal comes back on 10/14 with the three day waiting period, and the power of attorney for the seller signs on 10/15. The earliest I could sign and close due to the appraisal waiting period would have been that Monday, 10/18, and the seller would still need to be alive on closing day for the loan to fund.
The listing agent was swearing up and down that the tenant was going to be out that following Wednesday for us to do the final walkthrough.
She died that weekend.
I feel awful for the listing agent and their family and communicate that I’m willing to sign any (reasonable) extensions needed if we’re unable to close by 10/31, because I’m fortunate enough have a good relationship with and to live with my parents after my lease ended. Escrow advises that they will be requiring a lack of probate sale addendum, notarized/wet signature addendums to the deed, and the death certificate with the letter of testimentry. The listing agent lets us know on 10/27 that one of the five heirs is not in agreement with something and is refusing to sign the probate addendum, that the funeral for the seller is happening on the east coast on Friday and that the heirs would be having a family meeting after the service. He was confident that he could get the addendums signed and be on track to close by 11/5. My listing agent and I say “not a problem, we’re signing the extension now.” It’s returned to us with one signature, not five.
That meeting does not go according to plan, at least one heir has gotten an attorney, and the listing agent is refusing to tell us exactly what the issue is, if there is a will or an executor, if there’s a timeline to closure. I’m doing my best to be as understanding and as considerate as possible, because family is messy under normal circumstances but when there’s money involved it’s worse. My agent is following up with him twice a day for updates and it becomes painfully clear we’re not making a 11/5 close. My agent and I chat, agree to provide another extension through 11/15 and look at other properties. The listing agent is unresponsive to my agent and to escrow for several days.
When we don’t get that signed extension back, my agent talks to her lead broker and this Tuesday, ultimately recommends that I consult with a real estate attorney to discuss my options and that there is a clause in my contract that if legal action is taken in relation to the sales contract, the prevailing party is entitled to reasonable attorneys fees. She had not heard from the listing agent for about three days by then. I ask her to relay to the listing agent that I was considering legal counsel and surprise, the listing agent gets back to her within 10 minutes.
He, in as many words, states that he’s not talking to his spouse or in-laws currently because of this situation and his spouse is fighting to get the proceeds of the sale to go to the grandchildren instead of the five heirs. That the issue is not with the sale of the property but with the proceeds and that putting the proceeds into a trust is not an option at this point. Still refuses to advise if theres a will and executor.
I’m now caught between a rock and a hard place. Properties similar to the one I’m under contact on (gray area, but no signed recision) are all priced 50k+ more. And even though my market is hot, it’s still slowing down and there’s not a whole lot of inventory left. But there’s no way to know when this will resolve due to the messy family business. What would you all do?
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