What do I do about non-performance from a buyer?

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What do I do about non-performance from a buyer?

I am a licensed real estate agent in NY. I think the buyer I have is just a scam as there are a few red flags. He was a lead from Realtor.com. His phone number was not accurate and belongs to someone else. He states he is from China. He signed the multi-family contract, seller signed it and buyer has not yet provided the earnest money required by the deadline of today. I checked his IP address from Authentisign and it is from a computer in NJ. The buyer has not responded to my emails since contract was signed. I have discussed this with my

managing broker. What should I tell the listing agent and when should I tell him of my concerns?

Asked on December 17, 2018 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

When a buyer does not perform as per the terms of the contract (such as by not providing earnest money), the seller has two options for that breach: 
1) Sue to enforce the contract and make the buyer do/pay what he should--this is called "seeking specific performance." But if the buyer is overseas and/or criminal/fraudulent, this won't work: you can't force performance by someone with a fake ID, no money, and/or in a different country.
2) Treat the contract as terminated or over due to the material, or important, breach (and not paying money due is always considered material) and move on. This is likely the much better option in the situation you describe.


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