Contract Breach, I Need Help!!! - Posted by Shawn

Posted by Mike-DFW on January 09, 1999 at 22:21:47:

Sounds like the title co. is dragging their feet. If the seller is in breach you can sue for “specific performance” meaning to enforce the original contract.

Chances are that if you walk on this deal he will not want to give your earnest money back and he may well have a right to it. You most certainly won’t get your other fees back.


Contract Breach, I Need Help!!! - Posted by Shawn

Posted by Shawn on January 09, 1999 at 20:36:40:

On 10/25/98 I signed an ‘Agreement to Sell Real Estate’ for an SFR FSBO (rehab). The agreement stated that closing was to be on or before 12/31/98.

On 12/9/98 my financing was finalized using an equity loan on my primary residence. I contacted the title company to let them know I was ready to close as early as 12/14/98. They had not even started the paper work, but said they would put a rush on it and we should be ready to close in about 10 days.

Called title company again 10 days later. Still not ready, they said they were waiting to get back some legal documents, or something. It is now 1/9/99. Nine days beyond the time frame for closing, according to the contract; and almost one month since I was actually ready to close.

I am about to make my first payment on the equity loan, and don’t even have possession of my investment property yet!

The contract states - “6. DEFAULT BY SELLER: If the Seller fails to perform any of the covenants of this contract, the aforesaid money paid by the Buyer, at the option of the Buyer, shall be returned to the Buyer on demand; or the Buyer shall have only the right to specific performance.”

What options do I have? Can I get out of the contract w/o liability on my part? Could I use this to renegotiate a lower price? What is ‘right to specific performance’? I have appraisal and loan fees, home equity closing costs, etc. already tied into this deal.

As always, thanks in advance for the help!


Re: Contract Breach, I Need Help!!! - Posted by Cathryn

Posted by Cathryn on January 09, 1999 at 22:15:26:

I’m puzzled…unless the legal documents in question were to be supplied by the seller, and therefore the seller is causing the delay, how is the seller in breach? It sounds from your post as though this is the fault of the title company, not the seller.

Re: Contract Breach, I Need Help!!! - Posted by Dave T

Posted by Dave T on January 09, 1999 at 21:52:08:

Just add an addendum to your contract that extends the closing to a date when you may be likely to close. Do you believe that the seller is slowing down the deal?
Get with the settlement office and find out why they are having such a hard time with your contract.

If the seller is not causing the delay, you may need to move your deal to another settlement office.

A Better Deal? - Posted by Shawn

Posted by Shawn on January 09, 1999 at 22:13:00:

Thanks for the response Dave.

I may have a better deal for which I could use my equity loan. Do you know if I can walk away from this current deal w/o any liability to myself? Since seller breached contract, what are they liable for?

Thanks again,