Let seller out of contract?

9 Replies

I signed up a great deal a few weeks ago.  A few days from closing, the seller calls me and "doesnt want to sell anymore".  Based on other information gathered, I am 99% sure an agent told him he should be getting more $$ for the property.  What would you do?

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It's really a cost benefit analysis question. Will the cost of litigation eat up any potential profit?  If the answer is yes, you should carefully consider your options. If the answer is no, file suit for specific performance. Without question, you need to sit down with a real estate attorney to explore all options. 

Are there any contingencies in the contract that allows his exit to occur without penalty?

We need more facts!

Good Luck!


The seller is the one who should be questioning the ethics and morality of his desire to weasel out of the contract.   The first thing I'd do is file the sales contract with the county, which will cloud the title and make it difficult to impossible for him to sell to anyone else.

It's hard to compel anyone to sell against their wishes, but you sure can prevent him from selling to anyone else, and if/when he does want to sell, you have dibs at the contractual price, or can force him to pay you liquidated damages to release the lien.

I'm not a lawyer, nor is this legal advice, just my $.02...

@Larry Flanagan

I just went thru something similar. My seller suddenly notified me that he was no longer interested in selling. To make a long story short, I lost $50k on the deal. I waited too long to take action (and never protected myself from the onset).

He sold the property to another investor while I was screwing around with my attorney and trying to decide what to do. My contract had not yet even expired.

In hindsight, I should have filed an Affidavit of Fact immediately after executing the purchase agreement and should have had my attorney file the lawsuit much quicker. The affidavit would have likely raised concerns with the next buyers title company. And the lawsuit and other filing (lis parden or something like that) would have secured my place in the transaction had the other sale gone thru.

So - whatever you do - do it quick. Time is not on your side.

Good luck!