Can we delay closing if the seller has removed a fixture from the house that was not in the contract or otherwise agreed upon?
Question Details: We are in the process of purchasing a home and at the time of contract there was a basketball hoop cemented into the ground. The sellers asked if they could take the hoop and we said that it is a fixture and we would like to keep it. So, it needed to stay. They decided to take the pole/ hoop down anyway. Our agent says that we cannot delay closing because of this and should close on time and just take them to small claims court after. We would like them to simply fulfill their end of the contract and put the pole/ hoop back before we close. Can we delay closing until this problem is taken care of?
No, you can't, and your agent is right. This would not be considered a "material" or important breach of the contract, given the cost and impact of a basketball hoop vs. the value and cost of the home as a whole. An immaterial, or not important, breach like this does not let you delay or hold off on performance under the contract--that is, it is not grounds to delay the close. Only a material or important breach would be. This is grounds to sue in small small court for the cost to replace the pole and hoop, if you deem doing so worthwhile.