Walking the Line: Seller Stalls Sale But Buyer Beats Case

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PROBLEM: A buyer fulfills contract obligation for COE and has all necessary funds and signatures in by the date allotted in the Residential Offer and Acceptance Agreement. However, the seller and seller’s agent, refuse to allow the escrow to close.

The seller and seller’s agent decided to require items from the buyer not contractually necessary before they would agree to close on the property. This was in an attempt to drag the process past the agreed date to legally allow the sellers to break contract and accept higher offers. However, the signed agreement did not require any of the additional items required by the seller and seller’s agent.

This caused the buyer to incur unnecessary fees and out of pocket expenses, and the seller’s agent may be held liable for intentional interference with contractual relations. This also gives the buyer legal precedent to seek specific performance and monetary damages.

SOLUTION: The buyer was forced to seek an attorney’s help in drafting a Demand for Specific Performance letter to the sellers. You can see the actual letter here. The letter laid out the the fact that the buyer had adhered to the agreement, and proved the sellers have breached contract. The letter then demanded the acceptance of COE by the next business day. The seller and seller’s agent were forced to cooperate, and the buyer was able to secure the home.

REMEMBER:

  1. KEEP CLIENTS AWARE | Make sure to keep your clients informed of the agreement and what the terms are.
  2. ADVISE ON OFFERS | Always remember to advise your client on the offers they receive and what it can mean in the future.
  3. BUYERS | Keep a look out for sellers who use this tactic to maneuver out of a contract illegally.

 Read the actual attorney letter here

*Although the letter was drafted with Nevada laws in mind, this situation would be handled virtually the same as both state laws regarding this topic are similar.

  What would YOU like to see in the next edition of Risk Management? Let us know what we should cover in the comments below!

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