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  1. #1
    jasonelki is offline Junior Member
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    Question Fire Damage prior to closing and seller not signing extension

    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? Wisconsin

    Here is the story.
    My wife and I had an accepted offer on a house, 2 weeks prior to closing, there was a fire at the home in the neighborhood of 80K, roughly about 2/3 of the purchase price. We were supposed to close June 15th, but since there was a fire, we signed an amendment(prior to the original closing date) to extend the closing date out until September when the repairs will be completed. The problem, the seller won't sign an extension.
    We are interested in the property regardless of the fire damage as a lot of repairs are improvements, things which needed to be done at some point anyway.
    There are a few other interesting items of note. The seller originally was planning on selling the home and moving out of town, but something changed and she would like to stay in the same town.
    Is the seller bound to the original offer to purchase? What types of options do we have?
  2. #2
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonelki
    Is the seller bound to the original offer to purchase?
    What EXACTLY, if anything, does your contract say as to catastrophic damage (or other terminology as to the damage)??
  3. #3
    jasonelki is offline Junior Member
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    Here is what our contract states-
    PROPERTY DAMAGE BETWEEN ACCEPTANCE AND CLOSING: Seller shall maintain the Property until the earlier of closing or occupancy of Buyer in materially the same condition as of the date of acceptance of this offer, except for the ordinary wear and tear. If, prior to closing, the Property is damaged in an amount of not more than 5% of the selling price, Seller shall be obligated to repair the Property and restore it to the same condition that it was on the day of this offer. If the damage shall exceed such sum, Seller shall promptly notify Buyer in writing of the damage and this Offer may be cancelled at option of Buyer. Should Buyer elect to carry out this Offer despite such damage, Buyer shall be entitiled to the insurance proceeds relating to the damage to the Property, plus a credit towards the purchase price equal to the amount of Seller's deductible on such policy. However, if this sale is finalized by a land contract or a mortgage to Seller, the insurance proceeds shall be held in trust for the sole purpose of restoring the Property.
  4. #4
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonelki
    Here is what our contract states-
    PROPERTY DAMAGE BETWEEN ACCEPTANCE AND CLOSING: Seller shall maintain the Property until the earlier of closing or occupancy of Buyer in materially the same condition as of the date of acceptance of this offer, except for the ordinary wear and tear. If, prior to closing, the Property is damaged in an amount of not more than 5% of the selling price, Seller shall be obligated to repair the Property and restore it to the same condition that it was on the day of this offer. If the damage shall exceed such sum, Seller shall promptly notify Buyer in writing of the damage and this Offer may be cancelled at option of Buyer. Should Buyer elect to carry out this Offer despite such damage, Buyer shall be entitiled to the insurance proceeds relating to the damage to the Property, plus a credit towards the purchase price equal to the amount of Seller's deductible on such policy. However, if this sale is finalized by a land contract or a mortgage to Seller, the insurance proceeds shall be held in trust for the sole purpose of restoring the Property.
    Has the seller notified you in writing per the above clause??
    If not, have your attorney or agent advise the seller in WRITING that you wish to exercise the purchase as provided. If the seller still refuses, she is in breach of the agreement and your option would be to consider a breach and specific performance lawsuit. Since these are typically 'slam dunk' cases, I have yet to have one get to trial as the seller will usually realize at some point that they have no defense to the claim.
  5. #5
    jasonelki is offline Junior Member
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    Yes, the seller has notified us of the damage in writing. I appreciate the advice.
  6. #6
    jasonelki is offline Junior Member
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    Does it matter in this situation that the home will be worth significantly more when the repairs are done?
  7. #7
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonelki
    Does it matter in this situation that the home will be worth significantly more when the repairs are done?
    Nope. The terms of the agreement are clear.... and don't allow for that.
  8. #8
    jasonelki is offline Junior Member
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    I noticed some other threads dealt with the Residential Offer to Purchase not being a binding contract, which was stated on some of the documents. In Wisconsin, if the offer to purchase is signed by both parties, is this not a contract?

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