Last updated on August 2nd, 2023 at 07:14 am

Quick Answer:

  1. Yes a buyer can try and force the seller to sell, but it is a costly process and involves hiring an attorney. A buyer may be better off finding a seller who wants to sell.

Closing Complications: When Sellers Won’t Sign

Buying a home is an exciting and nerve-wracking process. After months of searching, you finally find the perfect place to call your own. However, sometimes things don’t go as planned. 

One of the most frustrating scenarios is when a seller refuses to sign the closing documents or doesn’t show up at all.

 It can cause a lot of complications and delays in the already lengthy home buying process.

We will cover why some sellers refuse to close and what you can do if it happens to you. 

We will also discuss the importance of contingencies in closing and what the process looks like from start to finish.

Additionally, we will look at the seller’s responsibilities during closing, whether they need to be present, and the difference between remote and in-person closings. 

Finally, we will provide tips on how to find a contract lawyer in your area who can help navigate these tricky situations.

Why do some sellers refuse to close and not even show up

Some sellers may change their minds or receive better offers, while others may have legal issues or personal/financial difficulties. 

This can cause them to back out of the sale and not show up for closing. It’s important to communicate with the seller and understand their reasons for canceling the sale.

Can a Seller Refuse to Sign Closing Documents

A seller has the right to refuse signing closing documents, which can potentially cause significant delays or even cancel the closing 

. Refusal could stem from disagreements on sale terms or issues with the property. However, legal action may be required if refusal is unjustified.

Remedies for Buyer if Seller Defaults

If the seller defaults on closing documents during a real estate transaction, there are several remedies available for buyers.

One option is specific performance where a court order mandates that the seller transfers the property and completes the sale to avoid litigation.

Alternatively, buyers can sue sellers for breach of contract and claim money damages such as those resulting from market value differences after purchasing.

It is recommended that buyers consult with a real estate attorney before making any legal decisions to ensure they make informed choices regarding litigation options.

Penalties for Seller for Not Signing

If a seller refuses to sign closing documents, it’s going to really piss people off!

The reasons for refusal could range from disputes over terms of the agreement to unforeseen circumstances.

In case of seller defaults and their failure to close escrow, the buyer may hold them accountable for money damages or specific performance through litigation.

To prevent such legal issues, clear communication with the help of a real estate attorney is necessary. 

It is always better to understand all terms of the contract before signing.

Importance of Contingencies in Closing

To prevent the buyer’s remorse, contingencies are included in the purchase contract. 

However, when buying or selling real estate, a seller can refuse to sign closing documents; which is going to put the sale in jeopardy.

If this happens, legal action may need to be taken for specific performance or money damages through court order.

A buyer’s attorney can help their client close escrow by enforcing remedies for breach and breach of contract.

What Does a normal Closing Process Look Like

The closing process includes a title search, home inspection, and final walkthrough. Once all requirements are met, both parties sign the closing documents.

The buyer pays remaining costs and receives the keys. It usually takes 30-60 days from offer acceptance to close, but timelines can vary based on individual circumstances.

Home Inspection and Appraisal

The transfer of ownership during a home purchase happens during the home inspection and appraisal process under the supervision of an attorney or closing agent.

This includes signing necessary documents and exchanging funds. The buyer typically receives a HUD-1 settlement statement outlining all fees and expenses related to the real estate market transaction.

After signing documents and exchanging payment for the piece of real estate, ownership transfers from seller to buyer under specific performance clauses laid out in terms of contract.

Final Walkthrough and Sale Finalization

The concluding phase of closing is the final walkthrough and sale finalization.

This step ensures that all documentation gets signed, funds get exchanged from buyer to seller, and a real estate lawyer oversees it for a hassle-free experience. 

The process usually lasts for a few hours, culminating your journey in acquiring or selling your piece of real estate with minimal legal issues.

Seller’s responsibilities during closing

During closing, sellers have multiple responsibilities that include providing clear marketable title to the property, disclosing any known defects or issues with it and offering all necessary documentation like a survey of the property for sale completion.

Attending the closing meeting and signing all documents are compulsory actions.

 In case of refusal by the seller resulting in breach of contract litigation or money damages which could lead to specific performance. 

To prevent such a situation a real estate attorney should be present during closing for ensuring a hassle-free process that may avoid legal issues later on.

Must the Seller be Present at Closing


The seller’s physical presence is not mandatory at closing, but their signature on important documents is required.

Some seller’s own businesses are may be traveling and they just want to sell their property as quickly as possible.

A power of attorney can appoint someone to sign in their absence. Remote or electronic signing options are available if the seller cannot be present. 

Consult with a real estate agent and attorney beforehand for guidance on these options.

Remote vs In-Person Closing Differences

Choosing between remote and in-person closing can be a tough decision. 

While in-person closings allow for better communication and quicker issue resolution, they may also require additional time for travel and scheduling.

Remote closings offer convenience and flexibility, making them a popular option for many buyers. 

When it comes to deciding which option is best for you, it’s important to consider factors such as issue resolution, travel time, and scheduling constraints.

Finding a Contract Lawyer in Your Area

If you’re facing a complex legal issue in real estate, it’s important to find an experienced contract lawyer to assist you. 

When choosing a lawyer, consider factors such as their reputation, specialization, and experience in handling real estate transactions.

With the help of a skilled attorney, you can address legal issues like breach of contract or specific performance without experiencing remorse or market value loss. 

By working with a lawyer to review and revise your contracts before signing, you can avoid time-consuming litigation and potentially costly money damages.

Final Take-aways

Real estate transactions can be complicated, and it’s not uncommon for sellers to become hesitant at the last minute.

However, there are remedies for buyers if sellers default on closing as well as penalties for sellers who don’t sign.

Have contingencies in place to protect both parties and ensure a smooth closing process.

The seller also has specific responsibilities during the closing process, but they may not always need to be present. With remote and in-person closing options available, it’s important to choose what works best for you.

If you need legal assistance with your real estate transaction, find a contract lawyer in your area who can guide you through the process and help you close the deal successfully.