Buying or Selling a Home/closing on a home sale.


In New York State Are there any requirements for a buyer to close if the contract states a date and says within 30 days? Are there any penalties to the buyer for stalling? May the seller cancel the contract and retain the down payment if the buyer postones the closing? May the purchaser be held responsible for any additional expenses ie: real estate taxes, HOA fees, Club dues if they delay the closing?
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Hello Harvey,

Thank you for your questions.

In New York the contract makes a target date for closing as "on or about" and then there is supposed to be a 30 day window during which the closing should take place.

Quite often the seller or the buyer will try to delay the closing even longer for many a reason, not having sold their current residence (buyer), not being able to move to next residence (seller) among other reasons.

In such cases the seller can threaten to cancel the contract or the buyer can threaten to sue to force the closing. The penalty to the buyer could be a cancellation of the contract and the seller can move on to another buyer, if there is one.  Disposition of the down payment would be determined by the wording of the contract as would an other possible expenses a buyer might have to pay for not closing on time.  If such a thing is in the contract it would likely be a per diem cost to the buyer or seller until the closing takes place.  Such cases are rare.

Try to find out what is the reason the buyer is not closing.  Maybe you can help work it out?


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Hans Weber, Licensed Broker Associate


I am able to answer questions related to buying or selling residential real estate in New York. There are many questions buyers and sellers have about the process of buying or selling a home that they are afraid to ask or that might seem too simple to ask. For instance: in a house, why do some doors open in and some doors open out?


Licensed real estate agent in New York State in 1988.
Serving buyers and sellers as a full time occupation since 1988 with over 300 successful residential real estate transactions.

National Association of Realtors.
Westchester County Board of Realtors.

Graduate of Pace University in 1988 majoring in business and minors in taxation and computer science.

Awards and Honors
Consistently one of top sales awarding winning agents for Coldwell Banker in Westchester County.

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