Set to close in 5 days in NJ. Today our real estate attorney said the seller is backing out. Apparently they didn’t like something they saw in their new-build home (cracked foundation) so they cancelled their purchase and decided not to sell their current house. 100% of our escrow will be returned, sellers verbally offered to refund all of our our of pocket expenses. There is no contract contingency stating that the seller must find a new house before we can close. Our attorney and realtor noted this situation is quite rare. Our attorney explained our options (below) but stops short of recommending any particular path. If realtors want commission, one (both?) realtors will need to sue the seller.

Like any (in?)sane person who finds themselves in uncharted territory, I’m asking Reddit for advice.


  1. Get expenses reimbursed, walk away. Out of pocket expenses are ~$4.5k.

  2. Ask for a lump sum (ex $10k) covering expenses plus general inconvenience.

  3. Attempt to force the close by sending a Time of Essence (?) letter. Letter reminds sellers they’re in breach + extends closing deadline by 7-10 days. (Is this same as a “Demand letter”?)

  4. If new closing date isn’t met, litigate to force the sale by suing for specific performance. Requires a litigation attorney, likely to be costly + time consuming for both parties. Legal fees may not be reimbursed @ 100%.

A contract seems pointless if a seller can bolt in 11th hour because they feel like it. For all we know they got cold feet or a better offer.

submitted by /u/momo098876
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