Sellers of the house breaking contract

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Sellers of the house breaking contract

We did the inspection on the house we made an offer on. We wrote out a buy sell agreement for repairs. It stated that the stairs to the balcony had to be replaced. They signed it and agreed to do the work. We had our inspection yesterday to make sure they did what they agreed to do on the agreement. Our inspector showed us that they did not replace the stairs. they instead patched the stairs. The inspector said that it was still unstable. We then asked the sellers to give us $1500 to fix the stairs since we were supposed to close on the house today. We also gave them an estimate from two separate contractors stating that the replacement would be over $2000. they refused to agree on the $1500 and instead the 2 realtors agreed to take $1200 out of their commission so that we can just close on the house. Today we got a call that they are refusing to write us a check for anything. I am baffled that the sellers can sign a legal document that stated they will replace the stairs but now they want us to close with it just patched. I need advice so I can figure out if I should still be closing on this house or not today.

Asked on November 9, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Legally, they can't simplyb reach their contract. You could refuse to close, based on their breach (a breach of contract by party A enables party B to terminate the contract without penalty) or close and sue them for any costs their breach causes you (e.g. the replacement cost for the stairs). Of course, if you have already been mostly compensated by other means (e.g the realtors), it may not be worthwhile litigating, but that is a cost-benefit decision for you: you have the right to take legal action for breach of contract.


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