What happens if a closing is delayed by the seller in a cash deal?

Q: My closing has been delayed, due to the seller delayed in providing documentation to the title company. (Swissvale, PA)

A: The issue would be whether the seller breached the sales agreement. Your sales agreement should specifically define the terms of what constitutes breach. In your case it may be a failure to close within X amount of days. The sales agreement will also spell out consequential damages that apply for such a breach. These damages may be limited to the return of the hand money or could possibly provide consequential damages. Have an attorney review the document immediately, especially if you want out of the contract. You may have so many days to react to the breach.

Can I get out of a Standard Agreement for the Sale of Real Estate that I signed?

Q: I signed a Standard Agreement for the Sale of Real Estate and closing is scheduled for 7/26. I suffer from major depression and I was also withdrawing from a prescription from my doctor. I do not believe I was of sound mind and capable of making the decision at the time. Can I void the sale and cancel the closing? What are the potential consequences if I do this? (Pittsburgh, PA)

A: Your stated reason for rescinding the sales agreement will likely not be valid and I therefore would not disclose this to anyone. The answer lies within the language of the sales agreement. The damages against you may be limited to the security deposit. If so, the seller therefore cannot seek consequential damages. Read the paragraph which addresses damages. I am not sure which version of the sales agreement you have but it may be paragraph 22. If your damages are not limited by the wording of the agreement, I would pay an attorney to examine language of the agreement pertaining to inspections and other conditions precedent to acceptance of the property. If you have not already had an inspection performed, a building inspector may be very helpful to you. Follow the advice of your attorney.

When I sell, can the new owner get a more fair- market rent from my current tenants?

Q: I own property and buildings that I want to sell. The problem is, I have a business tenant on my property who has a long-term lease but only pays $1.00 per YEAR in rent. Obviously, no one is going to buy the property with a lease like that in place. Can a new owner claim market unfairness in such a lease and get the tenants to pay a fair market rent? If not, then I will never be able to sell my property in my lifetime. Surely, there would be some legal remedy for a new owner? (McDonald, PA)

A: You need to have the lease reviewed by an attorney to determine if it can be challenged. If you inherited this tenant when you bought the property, you need to have your sales agreement checked to see if this lease contract was assignable or even mentioned. If he has as lock tight agreement, you may need to buy him out. I would have to research if there is any common-law limit on the number of years a lease like this can be legally in effect.