Can the buyer hold our contract null because she is afraid the HOA will not follow through?

I am under contract to sell my home. The contract is FloridaRealtors/FloridaBar-5 Rev.4/17. There are no added stipulations by buyer. We have disclosed and buyer sign the disclosure that the property behind our property, which is owned by the HOA, has a fallen retention wall. The normal buyers inspection was performed and the falling of the wall was noted in the inspection report. No structural or foundation issues were noted. We have been in communication with the HOA and they agree that they will repair the wall. The wall is not within our purview. The buyer now says she is worried that the fallen retention wall has or will affect our property and building. The buyer is now demanding another inspection by an engineering firm. We said that we would allow such an inspection and we extended the inspection period for them to have it done. They said that they will not pay for another inspection and they have no confidence that the HOA will follow through. They wish to breach the contract and put a bid on another home. Would we have grounds to seek the escrow deposit?

Asked on June 10, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It doesn't matter what she fears: all that matters is whether the contract, by its plain terms, gives her the right to terminate the sale for this reason at this time. Double check what the contract says: she can only terminate the contract if the agreement itself gives her the right to do so under these circumstances. If not, she cannot pull out, and if she does, you could at a minimum keep the escrow as "damages" for her breach (violation) of the contract.

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