What are my options if the buyers of my home backed out one week before closing?

UPDATED: May 4, 2011

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What are my options if the buyers of my home backed out one week before closing?

All contingencies have been met.

Asked on May 4, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can sue them. A contract is enforceable--you may be able to sue them to force them to go ahead with the sale, or for damages (e.g. compensation related to costs, taking home off market, etc.). Or if there was a deposit (e.g. earnest money), you should be able to keep that deposit as your remedy for the breach, so long as you did not in some way cause the buyers to breach (e.g. you didn't do anything making their performance impossible). Either way, you certainly have rights and remedies--a contract of sale, like any other contract, is enforceable by the party which did not breach against the party(ies) which did. If you have a lawyer helping you on the sale, the attorney can help you select and take advantage of the most appropriate remedy.

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