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Top Remedies Available when a Party Breaches a Real Estate Contract

By OPLawSocialMedia on Real Estate

Breach Of Real Estate Contract Remedies

Roy Oppenheim from Oppenheim Law discusses the top remedies when a breach of contract occurs in residential transactions. The remedies vary depending on whether the defaulting party is the seller or buyer. For a defaulting seller, buyers may get their deposit back, additional compensation for inconvenience, or sue for specific performance to enforce the sale. In case of a buyer’s default, the seller’s typical remedy is keeping the deposit. Hence, it’s advisable to have substantial deposits in high-value transactions to ensure buyer sincerity. Oppenheim Law offers legal services and strategic advice in these scenarios, having closed over $3.5 billion in real estate transactions.

Roy Oppenheim for Oppenheim Law, how are you today? One of the top questions that we are frequently asked is, what are the top remedies when someone is in a breach of contract in a typically residential transaction? And so, the real question is, you know, am I representing the buyer, or am I representing the seller? But in terms of representing, let’s say the buyer, if the seller has defaulted, there are a number of options. One is to obviously get your money back, your deposit, maybe get some extra money back for all the inconvenience that’s been caused to you. And if you absolutely insist on wanting to keep that property, you know, that you think you have a good contract on, you may be able to sue for specific performance, and force the seller to sell the property to you, and prevent them from selling it to anyone else. So, that would be what happened if the seller defaults.

So, now let’s just turn around and say, what happens if the buyer defaults? What are your top remedies if a buyer defaults? Well, the first question is, why did they default? If they defaulted because they couldn’t get a mortgage, did they do that during the period of time that they were allowed to get a mortgage or outside the period? If it’s outside the period, it is a default, and your typical remedy is going to be to keep the deposit. There are an occasional set of circumstances where you can maybe sue them to force them to close, but typically, you don’t have a specific performance provision in Florida real estate contracts where a buyer defaults. Typical, the remedy for the seller is to keep the deposit. And that’s why I tell everyone, you can’t just take $5,000 on a million-dollar house as a deposit. You need to take 5 or 10% of a deposit. Maybe sometimes even more, to make sure that the buyer is sincere about closing. Because if they do walk, you know, you have that extra cash if the buyer walks and that’s your remedy. But if you’ve only taken a small deposit, you probably don’t have the best real estate advisors advising you.

And so, not only do we provide legal services, and besides having a [inaudible 00:01:56.972] coming, we provide advice since we have closed over $3.5 billion dollars, that’s with a, B, of real estate transactions in the course of my life-time in this firm, which is a lot of years. Anyway, Roy Oppenheim from the trenches, take care.