Should you or shouldn’t you grant the buyers an extension?

On the 18th, two days before you are scheduled to close on your Spring Texas house, your Realtor calls and says “I have some bad news. We won’t be closing on the 20th. The lender is waiting on underwriting to issue a final approval.”  What?!?  Doesn’t the lender know that you need the funds from the sale of this house to purchase your next house.

Then your Realtor says “The buyers want you to extend the contract’s closing date until the 26th.”  What?!?  The 26th?

But do you have to grant the buyers an extension just because they want one? No, you do not. If you decide not to grant the buyers an extension, the contract will terminate at midnight on the 20th. On the 21st, your house would go back on the Spring Texas real estate market putting you in search of a buyer once again.

Since the buyers were unable to close by the agreed upon closing date, they would be in default of the contract. You could then sue the buyers for specific performance of the contract or receive the buyers earnest money as liquidated damages. A small consolation for what you really wanted to occur which was to sell and close on your Spring Texas house.

Should you or shouldn’t you grant the buyers an extension?

Grant an extension if:

  • the lender can provide you with a date when the buyers will receive final underwriting approval.

Don’t grant an extension if:

  • you have a back-up contract from qualified buyers for a significantly higher sales price.
  • the lender can’t assure you when and if the buyers will receive final underwriting approval.

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