What are my rights regarding the breach of an agreement regarding the sale of a house?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What are my rights regarding the breach of an agreement regarding the sale of a house?

Our family home was sold to my sibling for a discounted price. He put in writing that he had no intention of buying the house and flipping it, since he got such a deal. Now, 2 years later, he intends to sell the house for a great deal more. I would like the opportunity to buy for another family member for the cost of house which we afforded him, plus improvements and a small amount of profit. What are my rights here?

Asked on October 17, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The issue is, what do you mean by "he put in writing"? IF the sales contract itself stated that in consideration for being sold the house and/or for getting a discounted or below market value price, your sibling agreed to not sell the property for a certain period of time, or to live in it for some number of years, or to give family members the right of "first refusal" to buy the home at a certain price if he chose to sell, etc., then if the sibling violates that term of the contract, he could be sued for breach of contract by the other partyies to the contract, and they could recover monetary compensation from him and/or seek a court order barring a sale in violation of the contract. If there was such a provision in the contract of sale, bring a copy of the contract to an attorney to review in detail the exact language of contractual provisions is critical and discuss your options.
But to do this, the provision or promise must have been part of the contract of sale itself. If it's not in the contract, but is just some separate piece of paper or email, etc. in which he wrote that he aas so happy for the deal, he does not intend to flip or sell the house, that is not enforceable a unilateral promise or declaration of intent made by a person is not enforceable in court--only contracts are.

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