I had my home for sale and had a buyer in place. The buyer backed out of the deal at the last minute, in fact 2 days prior to settlement. They will now not sign the release allowing me to keep their deposit. Isn't it automatically mine since they backed out of the deal?
It does not automatically become the Seller's money if a Buyer backs out of a deal. If they defaulted and had no reason to back out such as the house did not appraise, they did not obtain a mortgage or they were not able to come to terms with you regarding a home inspection issue in the time allotted on the Agreement of Sale then normally you would be entitled to the monies in escrow. However both the Buyer and the Seller have to sign a Termination of Agreement of Sale and a Release of Escrow Funds which will state specifically where the deposit monies will go. If the buyer will not sign this form allowing the deposit monies to become yours, the deposit will be held in escrow by the Listing Agent until there is an agreement. Sometimes that agreement must come from the courts when suit is filed to either recover the deposit monies by the buyer or to secure the escrow monies by the Seller. Unfortunately it is not a clear situation until there is an agreement or the courts make the decision.
Is it best to list our house in February before the Spring Market or in March during the Spring Market?
This will depend on the weather. If we have a harsh winter and it is very cold and snowy/rainny in February it is better to wait until the weather breaks and Spring Fever overcomes the buyers. If we have a mild winter as we did in 2012, February is a great time to list a house because you are avoiding those that wait until Spring, thus reducing the competition on the market. January and February of 2012 were great months to list a house and homes were selling quickly. We should have a better idea of the weather once we get into the month of February and then a decision can be made.
I am very interested in a home however the taxes are very high. How do you go about appealing the taxes and having them reduced?
You will not be able to do this as only the homeowner can appeal taxes. You would have to wait until you become the owner of the property. You could ask the Listing Agent if their Sellers are willing to go through the appeal process to determine if the taxes can be lowered or not and it will be the Seller's decision to do so or not.
Jennifer Daywalt, Realtor
RE/MAX Results Realty- Collegeville, PA
Licensed in PA
Phoenixville's Home Town Realtor
Top Realtor 2004-2011
Author of "Ask The Realtor" for The Phoenixville Patch
RE Blogger for The Phoenixville Patch
610-489-7355 Main - 610-999-7693 Direct