Can I sue for specific performance when the seller refused to sign the purchase agreement?

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Can I sue for specific performance when the seller refused to sign the purchase agreement?

We negotiated with the sellers and couldn’t agree on a price. Eventually, the
seller’s realtor contacted us asking if we could agree on 70k. We were firm with
our previous offer of 66k. The realtor told us the seller agreed to our price
and sent us the purchase agreement to sign. My boyfriend and I both signed the
purchase agreement and when I was going to bring it to the realtor we received a
phone call that the seller was not going to sign the purchase agreement. His
reasoning is that the renters that were currently in the house asked him not to
sell.

Asked on May 27, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As you note, the seller refused to sign: that is, the seller never actually agreed to or bound himself to the contract. The realtor's representations that the seller would agree do not legally bind the seller. Since the seller never signed, therefore, you would not be likely to prevail on a breach of contract suit for specific performance. (If the seller had signed, you'd have a reasonably good chance of success.)


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