What are my rights as a buyer regarding a price change?

I’m trying to purchase a home I’ve rented for almost 5 years, I have a signed purchase contract at an agreed upon price. When the Health Department did the well and septic system inspection, the septic failed and the complete system failed needs to be replaced. The seller now wants to increase the sale price to partially cover the cost of this. What is my available recourse?

Asked on November 13, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you have a contract with a set price and you have been complying with your obligations (have not breached it), then you can enforce it against the seller: he legally can not increase the contracted-for price, but must sell it at the price he agreed to sell at. If he will not, you could sue him in court for "specific performance"--for a court order requiring him to sell at the agreed-upon price. He has to absorb any increases in costs himself. That's the law.
Practically, rather than potentially get involved in litigation (a lawsuit), which can be costly and take time, you may wish to negotiate with him and agree to pay part of the cost, as that may be more efficient than litigation (and you are getting  benefit from the new system, anyway). But if you choose to not do that, you can enforce the contract in court.

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