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What are your options if a buyer breaches a sales agreement?

| May 24, 2021 | Residential Real Estate |

You listed your home for sale and accepted a generous offer. You are excited to move into the new dream home that you and your family have always wanted. But then there is a problem.

The buyer has breached the sales agreement and is backing out of the deal. What should you do?

In the state of Florida, you have to choose one of three “alternative remedies.”

What are the alternative remedies for breach of a real estate contract in the state of Florida?

If you are the seller, and the buyer breaks your sales agreement, you have three main options.

  1. Close the transaction: Sometimes you may have had multiple offers so you can easily close the transaction and enter into a sales agreement with a different buyer. Or you can simply relist the property and wait for a new offer. If the market has fluctuated in this time and your house is now worth less than the previous buyer’s offer, you may be able to sue the original buyer for the difference.
  2. Sue to enforce the performance of the agreement: You have the right to sue the buyer to compel them to go through with the transaction. This is called a “remedy in equity.”
  3. Seek monetary damages for the breach: When you seek monetary damages if a buyer defaults on a residential sales contract, it is called “remedy at law.” This is where you can sue to keep any deposits that were made, sue for a price difference due to a fluctuation in the housing market, and/or sue for any costs accumulated during the time leading up to and after the signing of the real estate sales contract.

If you have accepted an offer on your home and suddenly your plans are interrupted due to a buyer’s breach of the sales agreement, know that you have recourse.

 

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