If it’s been 3 weeks since I signed a contract for sale of my condo but I haven’t received a copy of it as of yet, can I still cancel the sale?

UPDATED: May 28, 2012

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If it’s been 3 weeks since I signed a contract for sale of my condo but I haven’t received a copy of it as of yet, can I still cancel the sale?

I sold my condo for $33,000, and was told the buyer was going to do an inspection last week. When I phoned my real estate agent about this , he told me they were to do a walk-through 1 day before closing. If the buyer then decides to change their mind nad not go through with the sale, and I have already disposed of all of my furniture, quit my job, to move out of state, can I legally also decide to abrogate the contract for sale at this point in time? And if not, under what circumstances could I abrogate it?

Asked on May 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can terminate the contract if the buyer breaches it in a material way--for example, if the buyer refuses to go ahead with the sale, does not or will not close on the indicated date, and/or does not pay the specified amount. If the buyer either does breach in such fashion, or clearly and unequivocally shows that he intends to breach ("anticipatory breach"), you have the options of:

1) Treating the contract as terminated, but suing for your costs or losses directly caused by the buyer's breach; or

2) Suing to enforce the contract, which means getting basically the profit (not the gross amount) you'd have made under it.

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