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Real Estate: California/Home purchase agreement

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Question
I read on this website that I have 17 days period to cancel after offer was accepted.
I have a few question
1. Is it for any reason, say I change my mind
2. will all my deposit return or partial since it's in escrow so I'm afraid they charge me for their cancellation fee
3. There's 3 counter offer after original purchase agreement date,
Is the date of acceptance on the date the counter offer no 3 was sign?
4. On the counter offer #2, one condition states remove all contingencies within 10 days
Is that mean 10 business days from acceptance or 17 days from acceptance that I can cancel for any reason
I'm just confuse on all the dates
5. Say the final acceptance from seller is 1/31/13, do I have until 2/10/13 to cancel
Without loosing my deposit
6. If loan doesnt approve before the 10 days period,
Is there a form for cancellation so I won't loose my deposit
Please give me an idea of ways so I could safeguard my deposit

Answer
Hi Christy.

Thank you for your questions.  The timing of when one has a fully ratified contract and one can get their 'good faith deposit' back is always a concern. And, it sounds like you have already had quite a ride! Before I answer the specifics on dates, I think a few other items should be covered:
*. In this market finding a seller who is willing to take your offer over others is quite challenging. Should you decide to back out of the Agreement, be certain it is for GOOD reason and/or you're willing to continue looking for some time to come.
*  Possibly change Realtors --as it's not unusual for relationships to change when a less than GOOD reason is used to back of an Agreement.
*  Your next opportunity may cost you more out of pocket, on the loan, or location, etc.
So, if it's a case of cold feet because you've lost interest because of the negotiations, you may want to take a deep breath, go for a walk and re-consider. If that's not the case, you now realize you're not comfortable with something like an unpermitted bathroom, the office building across the street, the unrelenting traffic, or something similar, you can back out of the Agreement with a clear conscience.

If I cover details you're already familiar with, please forgive me. 'Just want to ensure I haven't missed anything.
* The 'contingency period' is designed to allow buyers the time to do their due diligence regarding the home and it's surrounding property.  Although most people, including, unfortunately, some agents, act as though standard inspection reports will cover all aspects if what is important to a buyer. When referring to your Agreement and the associated paperwork, note there is mention of things like noise, errant golf balls, fire hazards, etc. These items, along with more substantial one's such as title, property boundary lines, encroachments, easements, remodeling permits, etc. are all on the list of items the buyer needs to be okay with at the end of the contingency period in order to sign off that one is committed to buying the home.
*. The standard period is 17 days. However, the number of days can be changed by filling in a blank on the Agreement. As I read your questions, I understand that to be 10 days.
*. There isn't a fully ratified Agreement until all terms have been agreed to. This means the last required signature on the last Counter Offer.  Double check your Agreement to ensure there hasn't been any changes to the use of calendar versus business days. If there hasn't been, the timing is calendar days. 24 hours from the date of the last signature equals 1 day. From what I read in your list of questions, yes, the 10th is your last day to leave the Agreement and still get your full deposit back.
*. If there is good cause to extend the date for signing off that all contingencies are good, this can include an inspection report has not been completed due to an illness, agreed to repairs have not been completed, or the loan has not been fully approved, etc., an extension of time can be requested.  As sellers have the option of not accepting the extension, it is best to avoid whenever possible.  I recommend the buyer sign off as much as they can and make a reasonable extension date.  The relationship between agents can make a difference here...

And, yes, you can change your mind for ANY reason -- just make sure you give your agent plenty of time to get the cancelation paperwork completed and signed prior to the 10th!

As added insurance, please do not hesitate to discuss all of the above with your Realtor! They are responsible for meeting all deadlines and ensuring you don't miss any AND that you understand your responsibilities and liabilities as the buyer.

Best wishes, Christy!
Kathryn

Real Estate: California

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Kathryn Hisert; Realtor

Expertise

Everyone deserves an answer! My rounded background will provide you with information beyond ‘just’ buying and selling. I can answer questions regarding short sales, foreclosures, deed-in-lieu, home staging, vintage home related concerns, most mortgage related questions, and divorcing couples’ housing options. I am a research oriented individual who strongly believes in connecting all the dots and providing as much, or as little, information and communication my clients want or need. My expertise is in San Diego and Santa Clara Counties.

Experience

I started in the mortgage industry in January 2002. In November 2004 I earned my real estate license. The combined experience has provided me with experience within multi-faceted programs including, FHA, VA, 'hard money', private financing, short sales, foreclosures and conventional lending programs and purchasing guidelines. My clients experienced a 'one-stop shop'. Since July of 2010 I have concentrated strictly on being a Realtor with niche markets in vintage homes and divorcing couples.

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N. San Diego County Association of Realtors California Association of Realtors National Association of Realtors

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www.HouseInDivorce.com

Education/Credentials
CDPE: Certified Distressed Property Expert CREDS: Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist ASP: Accredited Staging Professional

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