is changing land deed after a land purchase contract signed a breach of contract?

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is changing land deed after a land purchase contract signed a breach of contract?

Seller and buyer sign land sale contract. offer and acceptance on price and payments. Final payment issued from buyer to seller. When buyer asked seller for deed to property. Buyer finds seller had quit deed property to third parties. Property was sole owner property at time of signing contract. I claim breach of contract for seller can no longer give clear title. Tells buyer they have to settle with third parties.

Asked on February 23, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it most certainly is a breach of contract: the seller had contrated to sell the property and convey good title, but did not. That is a material breach and the buyer could sue to get all amounts paid and all costs incurred (e.g. loan origination fees, inspections, any legal costs, etc.) back from the seller. It may also be fraud, if the seller can be shown to have known that he would or to have intended to transfer to 3rd parties, meaning he would have lied to the buyers about what he could and would do, to induce them to enter into the transaction; if fraud, the buyers may be entitled to additional compensation or damages, too. The buyers should consult with an attorney about suing the seller.


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