When homebuyers and sellers sign a real estate purchase agreement, they enter into a legally binding contract, the terms of which both parties are expected to uphold. Many real estate transactions are completed without issue, but if you find yourself in a situation in which the other party has failed to follow through on the agreement, you may be able to pursue remedies through a lawsuit for breach of contract with the assistance of a real estate litigation attorney.
Examples of Breaches of Real Estate Purchase Contracts
Typically, the most important provisions of a real estate purchase agreement are the agreed-upon purchase price for the home and the closing date, or the date on which the transaction will be finalized. If the seller fails to complete the sale or the buyer fails to complete the purchase by the agreed-upon closing date, they may be in breach of contract. A breach of contract can also be related to other terms of the contract, such as the seller’s agreement to include certain items in the sale or provide a clear property title to the buyer.
Including Contingencies in the Purchase Agreement
In general, once the buyer and seller have signed the agreement, they are expected to go through with the purchase. However, it is often a good idea to include contingencies in the agreement that allow you to terminate the contract under certain circumstances without being in breach. For example, as a buyer, you may request a contingency pending the results of a home inspection or your ability to obtain financing through a mortgage loan. Other common contingencies are related to the buyer’s ability to sell their current home or the seller’s ability to find a new home before the closing date.
Remedies for Breach of a Real Estate Contract
If the buyer or seller is in breach of contract, the aggrieved party can pursue various remedies. These include liquidated damages, which typically refer to the funds deposited as earnest money, or compensatory damages, which refer to financial losses incurred by the buyer or seller due to the breach. It is also possible to pursue an order for specific performance, requiring the seller or buyer to complete the transaction as agreed upon in the contract.
Contact a Milwaukee County Real Estate Litigation Attorney
By working with an attorney throughout the process of a real estate transaction, you can ensure that the terms and contingencies of your contract will protect your interests, and you can also be sure you fully understand your contractual obligations. If you need representation in a breach of contract dispute, the attorneys at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can help. Contact a Milwaukee real estate litigation attorney today at 414-271-1440.