Purchase And Sale Disputes | Real Estate Litigation
Schorr Law has a substantial amount of experience representing clients with actions against the sellers of real property arising out of the seller’s failure to disclose defects in the real property that the seller sold. We investigate the nature of problem, help our clients understand the cost to fix it, and then actively protect our clients rights. We also have a great deal of experience defending this type of litigation too. In fact, in a recent arbitration, Schorr Law successfully defended against a buyer’s non-disclosure claim arising out of the sale of a house allegedly located on unstable ground.
We have extensive experience in all types of non disclosure cases. Whether it be our clients’ business property or simply their house, we understand the uniqueness of real property and take every step necessary to protect your interests and enforce the terms of your purchase agreement. We commonly litigate these claims and understand the intricacies involved with such claims.
We have successfully handled nearly every type of purchase and sale disputes imaginable, including but not limited to:
- Specific Performance Cases (both commercial and residential)
- Non-disclosure cases
- Disputes concerning liquidated damages provisions in purchase and sale agreements
- Disputes concerning escrow deposits
- Disputes over removal of tax liens and rights of redemption as part of a purchase and sale agreement
- Disputes involving banking problems caused during escrow
- Disputes concerning broker and agent representation during the purchase and sale of property
Common Real Estate Litigation Issues
It is possible that during escrow something may go wrong with the purchase and sale of the property. Minor problems – such as a missing or incorrect loan document or last minute title problems – can delay closing, but the sale may not be jeopardized. More serious problems (as follows) can jeopardize the whole deal.
What if the seller backs out?
Backing out of the deal or breaching the contract, means failing to perform without a valid legal excuse. In certain circumstances, courts do permit a legal excuse to allow either the seller or the buyer to back out of the sale and escrow.
If the seller backs out of the sale after the buyer has waived all contingencies this may be a breach of contract. For example, the seller cannot back out of the sale of the property simply because he or she does not want to sell the house or because the seller gets another offer to buy the house that looks better than the original offer. In these situations, the buyer can try to enforce the purchase contract by filing a suit for specific performance. A suit for specific performance is a suit in equity where the buyer asks the court to order the seller to sell the property as previously agreed. The seller may also be required to pay the buyer damages based on the buyer’s out of pocket expense.
Most purchase and sale contracts for real property contain contingencies, which the buyer must remove in writing and let the escrow holder know they have been removed before the purchase becomes final. The contingencies may be inspection contingencies and/or financing contingencies. This is called removing or waiving the contingencies. If you or the seller try to fulfill the contingencies, and in good faith are unable to do so, the deal may fall through – without penalty to either party.
What if the Buyer Backs out?
If the buyer refuses to go through with a deal without a good reason, the seller can pursue mediation, arbitration or a lawsuit requesting you to pay damages. Damages are not always easy to determine and the seller has a duty to try to limit or mitigate his or her losses by selling the house to someone else. Because the amount of damages is often the subject of contention, many purchase contracts provide a specific dollar amount for the seller’s maximum damages for the buyer’s breach of the contract – a liquated damage provision.