What legal recourse do I have, if a buyer backs out of a purchase and sale agreement?

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What legal recourse do I have, if a buyer backs out of a purchase and sale agreement?

They want a new roof. The last 2 roofers she sent she didn’t get to. So I told them to tell me how many years left on the roof (2-3 years). The same I told her when they looked at house. Problem is she wants a new roof. She wanted 15k we offered 10k. they said if we don’t give them 15k they will back out. Sounds like blackmail. Can they say that and if they do back out the house been off the market for 2 months. I lost potential buyers. Can they demand 15k and use that as a way to get out of the contract?

Asked on June 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

Jamison Mark / Mark Law Firm, LLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The real estate transaction is always guided by the agreement you signed to sell your home.  Speak to your attorney (if you have one) about the terms of the contract and whether repairing a roof that is still in good condition is a structural defect.  Most houses are sold "as is" with the exception of certain agreed upon repairs, or repairs which are required before a home could be sold, but those repairs are structural of type.   I the roof is still in good condition, however, the buyer is simply nervous because it only has 2-3 years left on it, then the buyer is typically not in a position to breach the agreement.  If you are able to do so, send the seller a notice of anticpated breach, and a "time is of the essence" request for the closing to take place within 15 days.  Without seeing the actual contract, it is difficult to say if the negotiations of the roof is a factor that would permit the buyer to void the contract.


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