Seller Won’t Sign At Closing?

7 Replies

We close on a property next week on a deal I was certain the seller would never sign the contract on to begin with, for emotional reasons. If he doesn’t close, obviously he’s in breach of contract. Just curious how others have handled litigation after something like this.

Originally posted by @Tyler Faison :

We close on a property next week on a deal I was certain the seller would never sign the contract on to begin with, for emotional reasons. If he doesn’t close, obviously he’s in breach of contract. Just curious how others have handled litigation after something like this.

 I once had a closing that took 4 hours. The husband didn't want to close and from what I heard that is just the way he is. It was emotional. Finally he signed and all was well. I left it up to the closing agent. That's what they get paid for.

Personally, I would not sue someone for breach of contract for not signing. I might threaten through my attorney but the cost and time aren't worth the deal. It's better to find someone who is cooperative.

I should mention that this is a $1.1M contract. Not sure if that changes the circumstance at all, but our thought is that we’ve put a lot into it up to this point and have passed on other opportunities because of it. 

my understanding is that you can really only sue for actual money you’ve put out. Inspections, application fees, and your deposit (which I assume the escrow holder would return). It’s difficult/impossible to sue for all the deals you could have made instead.

So I’m the end, you’re probably talking a few thousand at most, probably not worth the costs and aggravation.

Good luck though!

@Mike McCarthy @Tyler Faison You can sue for specific performance.  https://smallbusiness.findlaw.com/business-contracts-forms/what-is-specific-performance-as-a-legal-remedy.html

That will take time and expense, but if the contract was valid, fair and equitable, the court can compel the sellers to follow through with the sale at the agreed upon terms.

I don't know whether you can include legal fees as part of your claim, but I think it's worth looking into.  An hour of a local real estate attorney's time would be money well spent.

First, it depends on the language in your contract regarding default by the seller.

If the contract is silent as to the right to pursue specific performance, then state statutes would kick in.