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What to do when a home seller breaches a contract

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2023 | Uncategorized |

Finding an ideal home and entering into a deal with a seller is the goal of every home buyer. But what if the seller breaches the contract? Perhaps they back out of the contract or change the purchase price. What can you do?

The first thing to do is to reread the sales contract to determine if a breach of contract has, in fact, occurred. This is because the agreement may protect the seller’s actions. For example, a seller may legally back out of a contract if it has contingencies that allow them to do so under certain circumstances. A seller may state they will only sell the home if they find a new one within a certain number of days.

Chances are you will note such contingencies before signing the contract. But it’s crucial to reread it to better understand whether their position is solid or can rightfully be questioned.

Next steps

If you are in a position to take legal action, you will be required to prove that you have suffered financial damages due to the seller’s actions. Therefore, you should document the expenses you’ve incurred examining the title, preparing paperwork, hiring a real estate agent, surveying the property, inspecting the home and other reasonable costs. If the contract includes a liquidated damages clause, you can also claim damages according to its terms.

If you take the case to court, you can potentially demand specific performance from the seller. You can ask the court to demand that the seller follow through with selling you the property in addition to or instead of compensating you monetarily. The court will assess your demand and the contract before rendering a verdict.

If a seller breaches an agreement that you had entered into with them, you may benefit from seeking legal guidance to better understand your rights and options. Contract law is nuanced and trying to seek a resolution to your situation without support can be undeniably tough.