PENDER COUNTY -- A Pender County woman says a real estate deal has left her family at their wit's end. Meghan Rylands has been under contract to sell her home since July 4. It's now November and the sale is still in limbo. Rylands said, "We're living out of boxes, my kids have been living out of boxes for two months now, they don't know where their toys have gone, and it's just been frustrating all around." The Ryland family went under contract to sell their house four months ago. The closing date was scheduled for September 30th, but the Rylands are still waiting. Glitches with the buyer's financing keep pushing the closing date back. The latest promise was the end of next week. "I have no proof that in a week or so, I'm going to close on my house," Ryland said. "I've been promised four times now that we will close on such and such a date, and it hasn't come through." Mrs. Ryland feels her buyer has no sense of urgency. But for the Rylands, time is of the essence. The Rylands are now in pre-foreclosure, and Mrs. Ryland is afraid if she doesn't close soon, the bank will take her home. But if she terminates the contract, she's back to square one, looking for a new buyer, and starting the waiting game all over again. Real estate experts say despite the frustration, meaghan's best bet may be to wait it out with the current buyer. Though it's not much consolation for the Ryland's there is a new state guideline going into effect at the end of this month that should make it a lot harder for people to drag their feet when it comes to closing a real estate deal. Certified real estate brokerage manager Phyllis Kimrey said, "I think the hope is that everything will be more structured. The dates are more specific, they are now time is of the essence dates, in several places in the contract, which means you have to observe those dates now." In the past the closing date was merely a target date. If either party missed that date, it was difficult to enforce any penalties. With the new contract format, there is a ten-day grace period after the closing date. After that the party delaying the sale has to pay a hefty penalty every day, for up to 30 days before the contract is allowed to be terminated. "Now there are several places in this new contract where the injured party -- so to speak -- has the right to cancel the contract, has a unilateral right to cancel, and their earnest money is forfeited, so those are big things incorporated into this new contract, that we never had before." We spoke to the buyer Wednesday who assures us her financing is in order and she plans to close on the rylands home next week. A few other new real estate rules that take effect the end of this month. The buyer now has to notify the seller in writing that they've applied for a loan, and if their loan request has been denied. As for repairs the buyer wants made to the home before closing? They now must notify the seller in writing of the necessary repairs. If the seller doesn't respond to the request by a certain date, it's grounds for voiding the contract.
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