Zion, IL asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin

Q: The Seller is trying to change contract on purchase of home when a contract was signed and offer accepted?

I signed contract and offer was accepted for 1,000 over asking price plus 4,000 closing costs. initial closing was scheduled for june 28. Now they changed the closing to july, 20th without my approval. I paid for inspection and inspector says windows need to be replaced for the loan to go through. Now seller wants to only do 2,000 closing and then he will fix the windows. Is it legal for the seller to do all these changes and what are my options?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller
  • Madison, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: It is impossible to answer a contract question without reading the contract. That being said, generally neither party may unilaterally change the terms of the offer. In the present case, if your lender will not fund the closing without the window replacement, then the terms of the contract may need to be re-negotiated to get Seller's agreement to replace the windows. And yes, that may include renegotiating price, credit and closing date. Alternatively, if your lender will fund the property in its current condition then you can force the existing terms - if not, then you will need to negotiate the terms with the Seller or terminate the transaction pursuant to your financing contingency.

A: The short answer to all questions involving written contracts is that--while the exact terms are enforceable--it is not always in anyone's best interest to cling to each written word when to do so may end the entire deal. So here is the only real question you are faced with: Do you want the house of not? (Note: In my opinion you should agree to the reasonable counter-offer because you will have to pay to fix the windows anyway. Try compromising at $3,000 closing costs plus the owner fixing the windows.)

Thomas B. Burton agrees with this answer

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