Q: I put a building lot under contract with multiple owners in Virginia.
They, thru their agent, were very hard to negotiate w/ from the outset--always moving the bar right before we were to get under contract. Finally, we agreed on terms. Sensing they may be difficult Sellers (they had refused to extend 2 previous purchasers by even 1 day on the Study Period) I withheld the earnest money deposit (emd) of $2k from the agreed upon closing agent. I let their agent know this and he said he was not worried about it. When it came time to close, I asked for 1 more week to have my financing lined up. At first, they refused an extension. Days later, they agreed to an extension if I were to put an additional $2k emd. The Sellers agent was to prepare the extension agreement. I was going to finally deposit the original $2k plus the additional $2k as per the extension agreement. The Selling agent never got me the extension agreement & the closing never occurred. I want to complete the purchase & my efforts yielded a sewer connection adding $150k value to the lot!
This is certainly a situation where you will need to consult with a real estate litigation attorney about what happened. The communications, their timings, and the purchase agreement all need to be closely reviewed to assess what your rights are, and whether you can obtain a "specific performance" (legal term for requiring the other party to perform on their part of the contract, a.k.a. make them sell you that particular property).
But even if the specific performance option falls through, if you put money out-of-pocket into improving the lot, there may be at least some remedy to repay you for the money you invested.
A: Did you have a question? Were you expressing happiness that you hadn’t placed your EMD when you discovered the $150k expense? Did you need a lawyer to review the contract to advise you on your exposure?
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