Depending upon the terms of the contract, you might have a claim for breach of contract against the seller. It is not clear why or when you closed escrow under such circumstances.
If your purchase contract was a California Association of Realtors (CAR) form, you should demand mediation with the seller. Demanding mediation (regardless of whether or not mediation actually takes place) is a prerequisite for recovery of attorney's fees.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
It is unclear from your description why escrow closed when the work was not performed according to your agreement. Normally in California the buyer uses a C.A.R. Request for Repair form, and it is the buyer's responsibility to ensure these repairs are completed prior to closing escrow. Did you inspect the property prior to closing to ensure the work was completed? Did you sign a Verification of Property Condition form? Most escrow companies will not close escrow without this form being signed by the buyer. You may still have a cause of action for breach of contract against the seller, depending on the facts. Contact a local real estate attorney in your area for a consultation regarding your particular facts and circumstances.