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I accepted a buyer's offer for my home. The contract (Residential Purchase Agreement, California) has an appraisal contingency. The buyer's lending bank appraisal came in below offer price. I asked the realtor (who is representing both buyer and me) to submit a Notice to Buyer to Perform, which is necessary to cancel the contract.

The realtor ignored the request, and instead got the buyer to submit a Contingency Removal (CR) form.

Am I obligated to accept the CR, and thus finalize the contract?

[Sale is taking place in California, USA.]

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    The fact the realtor ignored the request is a sign that they have a conflict of interest when they represent both parties. – mhoran_psprep Feb 15 '16 at 18:04
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    You might want to ask this question on avvo.com, where it might be answered by a California real estate lawyer. You can also see how such lawyers have answered similar questions, and follow up with a lawyer about the facts of your particular situation. – Jasper Feb 16 '16 at 16:22
  • Law.StackExchange has a question about "What should I look for when seeking a lawyer?" – Jasper Feb 16 '16 at 16:29
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In your case, a contingency protects the buyer. It becomes an out if the appraisal comes up short. A seller should be happy to drop it, as it means the buyer will need to come up with more money out of pocket in order to close the deal.

You are not obligated to agree to any contractual changes, but if you let this deal go you might have a tough time getting the same price from another buyer.

  • Does the contingency removal (CR) amount to a contractual change? The realtor has given me the impression that the buyer's filing of the CR sews up the deal. I do wish to get out of the deal. (I suspect that the buyer's don't have the additional cash needed to close, and potentially could tie up the sale for longer than I wish.) – Michael Feb 15 '16 at 18:57
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Talk to a good real estate lawyer, as soon as possible.

Sometimes there are provisions in a contract requiring both parties to undertake certain legal actions. For example, if a homesite is sold that has utility lines running through it, there might be a contract provision requiring both parties (and their heirs and assigns) to cooperate to move the utility lines. In the process, the parties might need to agree to easements (and/or other modifications of the contract between the parties).

"Letters of Intent", "Rights of First Refusal", "Options", and certain kinds of real estate transfer contracts can create obligations to either sign certain contracts in the future, or restrict one's ability to fulfill other contracts in the future.

But in general, neither party is required to agree to proposals to change the contract.

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