What to do about a breach of a real estate sales contract?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do about a breach of a real estate sales contract?

I made an offer and placed earnest money on a 4 plex contingent upon repairs which were noted in the inspection I paid for. The owner made the repairs and then decided not to sell. What is my recourse on this written contract?

Asked on November 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Alaska

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Because this is a contractual obligation, then your remedies are generally limited to those in the contract.  So your starting point is to look at the contract.  Most will provide for some type of refund of earnest money when the seller backs out.  If the contract provides that the funds are to be returned within a certain time frame and he is refusing, then you can file a civil suit for breach of contract.  Make sure you follow any requirements set out in the contract for demanding the return to avoid a waiver of any remedies.

If you had a very poorly written contract that did not award the return of the funds, you may still have some remedies.  If you can prove that the seller took your earnest money and never really had an intention of returning the funds, then you may have a theft by fraud type of criminal charge that you can file with your local law enforcement agency. 

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I suggest that you consult with a real estate attorney with respect to the seemingly agreed upon contract as to filing a specific performance action and recording a lis pendens as to the property in order to get an order from the court compelling the seller to sign a deed transfering title of the property to you through an established escrow.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption