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Breaches Of Real Estate Contract By Seller

By OPLawSocialMedia on Real Estate

When a Seller Breaches a Real Estate Contract

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Hi, real estate attorney Roy Oppenheim here. I wanna talk today about what happens when the seller decides not to proceed with a residential real estate contract. This is called a breach of real estate contract. In this frenzy of this real estate world that we’ve had in the past year, on occasion, you have sellers who decided they’re gonna sell their property, they list it, they sign the contract, and they have what’s called seller’s remorse. Either because they thought they sold it for too little, or because maybe someone got sick, or maybe someone dies or someone loses a job, or they can’t find another place to go because prices have gone up so high. So what does a buyer do when a seller decides that they’re not going to proceed?

Well, the first thing the buyer is gonna do is gonna demand their money back, if that’s what they want, then the seller will probably give them their money back. But if the buyer really, really wants this house badly, they can sue for something called specific performance where they can actually go to court, file a lawsuit and say, “We had a contract. I’m entitled to this property and the court, you, Judge, need to deliver this property to me.”

Now, that’s an expensive process. Usually, there’s an attorney fee provision in the contract. And so if you win, you’ll also get attorney fees and the sellers gonna have to pay their attorney and your attorney at the end. And so that gets very expensive. And that the seller can’t sell the property during the litigation because what’s gonna be filed is called a lis pendens, which basically tells the world that litigation is pending on that particular property. They can lease it out, but chances are, they’re gonna wanna stay there.

And so the best thing to do is usually negotiate a situation where maybe the seller is going to pay the buyer an additional sum of money over the deposit in order for the buyer to walk away and for the seller to stay. But sometimes the seller may be able to prove that the buyer was in some sort of default and that the buyer didn’t close on time, or the buyer didn’t come up with a second deposit in time. And sometimes there’s a technical issue that can be brought up by a seller, even though they really don’t wanna close, to prevent the buyer from having the right to close and for the buyer having the right to seek specific performance.

Gets a little tricky. Obviously, that’s why if you are a seller, you should always, always have an attorney. The flip side, of course, if you’re a buyer, you too should have an attorney, particularly in the situation where a seller is starting to wobble on you and you’re not sure if the seller is actually going to deliver the property and close. So Roy Oppenheim, real estate attorney, look forward to hearing from you. Please call us, 954-384-6114. Thank you.

Oppenheim Law 2500 Weston Rd Suite 209
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331