Buying and selling real estate is complicated even under the best of circumstances. Because there are so many variables involved, an issue could come up during any part of the deal that could cause it to fall through. Of course, the possibility also exists that a buyer could breach the real estate contract and leave you, as the seller, wondering what to do.
Fortunately, multiple options exist for handling this type of ordeal. They can range from relatively simple, but not entirely beneficial for you, to more complex, which means it will take some effort on your part to seek compensation for damages resulting from the breach. As a result, it is important that you understand your available courses of action in such an event.
Finding the right remedy
The right remedy for a breach in your case can depend on the exact details of the ordeal. Still, one step that you may want to closely consider after a contract breach is stopping any work you may be doing on the property at the request of the seller. In some cases, real estate contracts can have contingencies, such as the seller making certain repairs, and if you are in the midst of such repairs when the buyer breaches the contract, stopping your actions is likely a smart step.
Some possible outcomes to this type of predicament include the following:
- Walking away from the situation by canceling the contract and cutting your losses
- Retaining any earnest money or deposits that the seller made during the time between the acceptance of the offer and closing proceedings
- Negotiating a settlement for the damages you experienced as a result of the breach, which may be possible if the buyer knows you would have the upper hand in court
- Taking the situation to court and litigating the case in efforts to obtain compensation for the harmful results of the breach or even to get the buyer to complete the obligations stipulated in the contract, which can be more difficult
For some people, walking away may seem like the best option because it is less complicated than taking legal action. However, a breach of contract can lead to serious damages in some cases, so you may want to determine whether filing a lawsuit may be in your interests. If you are uncertain or simply want more information on your options, you can consult with a Maryland attorney to better understand your ordeal.