What rights do I have as a house seller, if the buyer refuses to close?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What rights do I have as a house seller, if the buyer refuses to close?

The buyer will not close because replacement windows were not installed at the
time of walk-through. It takes about six weeks for the window provider to finish
the project. The buyer wanted them immediately, and refused to close.

Asked on April 7, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It depends: when were the windows supposed to be installed? If there was an agreement that they could be installed after closing, then the buyer breached the agreement by not closing on time and you could sue them for that breach, to get monetary compensation related to their failure to close.
However, in the absence of an agreement that the windows could be installed post-closing, the windows should have installed by or before closing--without an agreement to the contrary, any agreed-upon upgrades, repairs, renovations, etc. have to be done before closing. In this case, you would be in breach of the contract or agreement by not having the work completed in time (it does not matter *why* it took longer in this case--only that it did). Your breach would entitle them to not go through with the transaction and close.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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