Breach Of Contract Lawyer
When a contract of sale or purchase agreement for real estate is created, both the seller and buyer have a number of duties to which they are obligated to complete. These duties must completed in a period of 30 to 45 days, or by the date of the closing.
Contract Disputes And Contract Litigation
If either party to a contact fails to meet the terms or conditions in an agreement, that person is said to have defaulted or breached on the contract. In turn, the other party has a legal claim against the party who breached the contract. A party may be released from a contract if he or she cannot meet a specific contingency, such as getting financing.
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If a dispute occurs between the two parties, a dispute resolutions process, featured in the contract, may enable them to settle their differences without taking legal action. Typical terms and conditions that are spelled out in a real estate purchase agreement normally are contained in endless pages of content. These terms and conditions contain some of the following details:
- The purchase price of the real estate
- The precise location of the real estate, or a legal description
- The move-in date, or when the buyer will take possession
- When the sale will be finalized, or the closing date
- The items included in the sale of the real estate, such as the appliances, light fixtures, and carpet;
- The items that are not included in the real estate sale but, in some cases, may be expected to be inclusive, such as certain furniture
- A guarantee that the seller will give the buyer clear title to the home, through a title insurance policy, abstract of title, or certificate of title
- A provision that states the seller must pay house-related costs up through the closing date
Breach Of Contract Remedies
When these types of defaults occur, a buyer may refer to more than one legal remedy. For instance, a buyer who wishes to see the sale completed may agree to an amendment in the contract regarding the title. He or she may also complete the sale and file a claim against the other party for defaulting on the contract afterwards.
If either party cannot come to a resolution, they must follow the dispute resolution process in the contract, if one has been included. Typically, this type of process involves mediation, arbitration, or the matter is submitted for review in a small claims court. Normally, dispute resolution is far less expensive than reverting to filing a lawsuit. The dispute is given to a judge, mediator, or arbitrator who determines which of the parties is guilty of a breach.
What Do You Do When A Breach Of Contract Happens?
At Equity Legal LLP, we are experts when it comes to contract negotiations, drafting, and breach of contract legal situations. When a breach of contract happens it's important to notify the other party of the breach of duty and to remind them that they are not fulfilling on their contract terms. You also want to document each conversation in writing so that when you need to move to the next step of enforcing the contract through legal action, your business attorney can asses what the best steps are, and what compensatory damages are necessary. We always attempt to resolve the situation through mediation, and when all else fails we move to contract litigation. We are adept business litigation attorneys and can assist you at any level of the contract process.
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What To Seek In A Breach Of Contract Negotiation?
With respect to damages, sales contracts often provide relief in the form of liquidated damages, or money damages. Therefore, the damages suffered by one party are often provided in an amount that is equal to the earnest money, or deposit put down by a buyer.
Often a buyer or seller in a real estate purchase agreement will include certain contingencies to the contract in order to safeguard their interests. These contingencies frequently represent the following:
- The hiring of a home inspector by the buyer, who offers satisfactory results in the home inspection report.
- Obtaining financing by the real estate purchaser.
- The sales of the buyer’s property.
- Obtaining a new residence by the seller.
Termination of a Contract
If any of the contingencies are not met, it can lead to the termination of a contract. For instance, if a buyer in California is not accepted for financing, he or she can ask for a refund of the down payment, or the deposit. The contract is then cancelled.
If the buyer and seller have a dispute on the contingencies, again, it is best, if possible, to refer to the dispute resolution process in the real estate agreement. If the contact does not include a dispute resolution clause, you can speak to a breach of contract lawyer in San Diego about possibly having the matter arbitrated or mediated.
You need to contact a law firm in San Diego like Equity Legal as it can set you straight on specific questions. Whether you are a seller suing a buyer for breach of contract or a buyer suing a seller for breach of contract, you can obtain the advice you need for a successful resolution.
Can You Force One Party To Perform On A Contract?
One area that needs a legal specialist’s skills is filing a lawsuit to enforce specific performance. For example, if a seller can perform the agreements outlined in an agreement but does not comply, a buyer can file a lawsuit for specific performance. In turn, the court can order the seller to transfer the property in accordance to the terms of the agreement.
Suing a Seller
A buyer may also file a lawsuit to enforce specific performance when the seller is unable to transfer all the real property stated in the agreement. In this case, the parcel may be smaller than what is stated in the contract, or certain defects in the title have been discovered. In turn, the seller may have to perform his or her obligation to whatever degree possible, with a reduction in the purchase price to make up for the deficiency or defect(s). The reduction or abatement is normally equal to the price of the property that cannot be conveyed.
In order to obtain specific performance, a buyer must prove that he or she can meet the criteria for the closing. Therefore, the purchaser must also show that he or she has the proper financing in place, and that it has been approved by a lender.
Suing a Buyer
If a buyer decides not to proceed with a sale, a seller can also sue the buyer for specific performance of the contract. Naturally, if the purchase agreement covers conditions for a buyer’s breach, a seller is precluded from filing suit for the full price of the real estate. In addition, all the conditions of a sales contract must be performed before a seller can ask for specific performance. The seller must be able to meet the terms and conditions of the agreement, and be able to transfer a free and clear title to the buyer.
Breach of Contract Remedies
Normally, a breach of contract resolutions can be realized when you speak to a professional breach of contract attorney in the San Diego area. For instance, some of the questions you may pose may include the following:
- Is it more beneficial to seek damages in money, or request specific performance of a contract?
- What does the contract say, in layperson’s terms, about a buyer’s breach?
- What is a notice of lis pendens? (This notice is often filed to stop transfer of real property to a third person until a claim has been resolved.)
As you can see, whether a breach involves a seller’s default on a real estate contract in California, or the default involves a broker or agent, it is a serious matter – one that needs a specific type of expertise. This type of knowledge and experience can only be found by calling on the services of certain legal firms. In this instance, you need to consult with Equity Legal. Make sure you receive the money damages to which you are entitled, or resolve any breaches that can prevent the sale of your real estate. Make a call today for a free initial consultation.