Compensation for Delayed Closing

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Compensation for Delayed Closing

Occasionally, the builder must meet the original delivery date due to strikes, labor, or materials shortages. Unexpected circumstances often cause delays in the closing process of real estate transactions. The seller may delay the closing, which can frustrate the buyer. Here, we will learn about the Compensation for Delayed closing.


Bit About delayed closing

Delayed closing occurs when the property’s ownership change still needs to be completed on the date set for closing. The Closing date is stated in the purchase agreement, where the buyer has to pay the seller the remaining purchase cost and gets the title and keys to the property.

There are a variety of reasons that a closing might be late, including:

  • Issues with appraisal or financing
  • Title issues or surveys
  • Repairs or inspections not completed
  • Contractual or legal dispute
  • Force majeure incidents like strikes, natural disasters, or pandemics

Based on the agreement, parties can mutually extend the closing date or seek compensation/remedies depending on the nature of the delay and the agreement.


Delayed Closing Compensation

Crucial warranty builders must offer delayed closure compensation. This is a way to alleviate the frustration caused by the builders’ inability to complete the closing as planned on the official time or date of closing. Once you sign the agreement to purchase or sell, the builder will provide the initial occupancy date for condos. The builder will provide a tentative or firm closure date for freehold homes.

They provide their anticipated date to give the occupancy date or for closing. The builder may extend this date several times, but they must determine an official conclusion or occupancy date.

The compensation for delayed closing new construction comprises a daily payment of $150 per day of delay and any additional costs for the buyer up to a maximum of $7500. And the evidence must be by way of receipts or other evidence. in the event of claims that exceed the daily reimbursement of $150.

The following conditions obligate a builder for delayed compensation.

  1. In cases where the closing or occupancy occurs following the occupancy date or closing date and is not due to a joint contract between two parties or an unavoidable delay
  2. If the buyer exercises their right to cancel the contract of purchase due to delays or other reasons,
  3. Suppose the builder needs to give notice that the delays are occurring at least ten calendar days before the closing or occupancy date. In this instance, the compensation will be due for the time of uncertainty in addition to 10 days before the closing date.


Compensation for delayed closing by seller

The compensation for delay during a real estate transaction is generally contingent on the terms and conditions set forth within the contract or purchase agreements between buyers and sellers. If the seller delays the closing process past the agreed-upon date, the buyer may be legally entitled to compensation or other remedies by the contract.

The penalty for buyer not closing on time must review the terms of the contract or purchase agreement. They need to fully understand their obligations and rights in the event of delays in closing.

If a seller is responsible for causing delays, communication between the seller and buyer and their real estate agent will frequently help to find the best solution. This could include adjustments or compensation to ensure the transaction runs smoothly. 

Getting legal advice for seller/buyer penalty for delayed closing is best to understand the available and possible options fully.


What happens if a closing date on a house is delayed by buyer?

If the buyer cannot close the escrow in time, it could cause various issues. The most significant problem is that the purchase contracts have an acceptance date paired with closing dates.

If we fall short or miss the closing day, we at least put the agreement in danger. And the worst-case scenario is that the warranty has expired. The usual course of action would be to delay the deadline, but the sellers may need to agree.


What are examples of compensating for delayed closing?

Here are a few examples of ways that compensation for late closing could be a factor in different scenarios:

  • If a buyer cannot close within the timeframe because of financing problems, the seller can apply a per-day fee to pay their tax, mortgage, or insurance costs. The seller can also resolve the contract and retain any earnest deposit in liquidated damages.
  • And if a seller cannot finish the deal on time due to problems with the title, buyers can claim reimbursement for extra living expenses and legal costs. The buyer can also cancel the contract and receive their earnest money returned.
  • Suppose the construction of a new home is late for more than 241 days after the original closing date due to unavoidable delays. The builder has to set a date for closing later and make payments of up to $150 per day to cover living expenses and other legal costs for the homeowner. The homeowner could also rescind this contract to receive a complete reimbursement.


The Worst-Case Scenarios And Penalties You May Face.

If you miss your closing date, you may face steeper penalties than when you were in school. Here are the worst-case scenarios and seller penalties for delayed closing you may face.


The closing date passes and charges you a per diem

A seller can extend the closing deadline after the closing date passes and charge you a per diem, or daily rate, as a result of the postponement, not only to cover the inconvenience but also to cover the additional mortgage, tax, and insurance payments the seller still has to make.

The seller is usually reimbursed for per diem, one-thirtieth of their housing expenses. You can avoid debt due to this penalty, but you may have more difficulty meeting the new closing deadline due to this additional financial burden.


Return the earnest money deposit.

For all the trouble involved, the seller will return the earnest money deposit you paid to prove to him that you had the funds to buy the house. At closing, you can use the traditional earnest money deposit to cover closing costs or a down payment, but this time it is nonrefundable.


The possibility of canceling the Deal

Unfortunately, there is the possibility of the seller canceling the sale altogether. A seller may want out of a sale, and the negotiations have become contentious, although it’s not in their best interest to walk away from the sale. However, the seller can cancel the contract under certain conditions. A legal postponement usually gives the buyer 30 days to close the sale if you have a legitimate reason for missing the closing date.


Consider the Legal Recourse for Damages

It does not matter if the delay was unintentional and out of your control; a seller can still pursue legal action since you are technically in breach of the contract.


Consider the Legal Recourse for Damages.


Upon request, the seller may be compensated for monetary damages, such as mortgage payments, taxes, or insurance payments, or if they had to continue renting a storage unit to store their staging furniture. Even if your financing fell through, the seller can sue you to force you to buy their house. A lawsuit is generally not an option in most contract agreements, but you’ll want to consult with your agent to ensure it’s not.


The Time of the Essence Clause

There’s nothing less dramatic than the time of essence clause. You have a hard closing deadline, regardless of any financing problems or other snafus, if your purchase agreement includes the time of the essence clause. Generally, time-of-the-essence provisions aren’t common, but you can negotiate an extension with the seller if they exist.


Can I sue my lender for not closing on time?

Yes, you can claim against your lender if they don’t finish on time. However, it is unlikely to result in an extension of loan commitment. In these instances, consult with an attorney to get advice. Loan lenders could be sued for breach of contract if they cannot respect loan commitments, the same way as borrowers may be liable for breaking agreements. 

If you do not meet the deadline for closing and the buyer cancels the loan, they can do so and retain the earnest funds. Intentional delays could lead the seller to seek claims for damages from you. Legal advice is vital when deciding whether to pursue the legal process against your lender in the event of a breach of contract.


How can we determine the compensation for delayed closings?

Compensation for delayed closings is usually based on actual losses or damages sustained by the aggrieved person in the event of a delay. The damages could be:

  • Additional living expenses like hotel re,nt or storage costs
  • Other mortgage or interest payments
  • In the event of a loss of income or business opportunities
  • Penalties or legal fees

The amount and manner of compensation can differ based on the terms in the agreement for purchase, the kind of property, and the law of the particular state.

For instance, certain agreements could include liquidated damages, a predetermined amount agreed upon by the parties before signing, to estimate potential losses in the event of delay. Some agreements allow the performance of a specific order, an order from a court that requires the party in default to finish the transaction.


What are the best ways to handle this problem if it occurs?

The process of dealing with this issue can be challenging. How you handle it as a buyer will depend on the reason for the delay and what sellers can accomplish.


 Ask sellers to pay for the expenses.

One alternative is to ask sellers to pay for the expenses if they are the ones to blame for the delay. If sellers cannot close your sale, you’ll need to create a supplement to the sales contract, and you could also agree to let them pay the loan fees in the contract. 

Sellers must agree with this and have the funds available to pay for this. But that’s only sometimes the scenario. We went with this option, and the sellers agreed only to cover a small portion of the cost.


We can bring a lawsuit.

However, to pursue that option, you’d need to allow them to fail to honor the terms of their contract due to not closing in time and seeking damages. We’re not keen on doing this because we’d like the house, and we’re still determining if we’ll get money due to insufficient assets. This is always a significant negative to pursuing an action. We agreed to their terms and shared the costs.


Decide to opt to cancel the home purchase.

You may also decide to opt to cancel the home purchase. The house would be worth the funds you’ve used to pay for the appraisal ordered by the creditor and only if you’ve sued. You’d be in the wrong spot as you’d have to obtain another loan to purchase the house you later find, which would be at a higher rate.


The extension independently

You can also pay the extension independently or accept that the interest rate will increase. There are better alternatives than this. However, if the vendor will not or isn’t able to pay and you wish to stay, you may have to make this the only option.

None of these are ideal choices, so staying clear of this scenario is best. If you follow this procedure, it is best to avoid being stuck in an unfavorable situation in which you’ll have to pay more for a loan because of a delay by the seller.



In many cases, the real estate attorney can assist in resolving Compensation for Delayed Closing and handling any necessary paperwork. There is no need for legal action or incidents in this case. We hope we can reschedule the delayed closing penalty and resolve the matters to the satisfaction of both parties.

Hedy Ghavidel

HEDY GHAVIDEL Managing Attorney  Roseville Office  1-866-471-6981  Bio...

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