What happens if a seller decides not to sell after signing a contract?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What happens if a seller decides not to sell after signing a contract?

I have a commercial contract for sale; there is no agent or deposit. My ex-wife

and I signed the first contract, however we both did not receive an original copy of the sale. Then the first contract expired so an extension was signed but only by me as my ex-wife has decided not to sell the property. Can we forced to sell?

Asked on November 8, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Real estate is one of the few situations where a buyer can get "specific performance" if the seller refuses to go ahead with the sale: that is, instead of just getting some monetary compensation for the breach of contract, the buyer can seek and get a court order requiring that the seller go through with the sale as contracted and sell them the real estate. (This is because real estate is seen as unique: no two properties are considered identical (giving vagaries or differences in location, lot, the structure, etc.), and, as a consequence, money is seen as an inadequate compensation for not getting the real estate you want.) Therefore, they buyer could likely force you to sell. Even though your ex-wife did not sign this contract, since she had signed the prior contract, a court would likely conclude that she did originally intend to sell, leading to this situation, and compel her to sell, too.

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.

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