Home Buying in Bronx>Question Details

Samsam, Home Seller in Bronx, NY

If both parties have signed the contract but the buyer wants out, what rights does the seller have?

Asked by Samsam, Bronx, NY Wed May 15, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


Although I am not a lawyer and can't give legal advice, here's what my experience tells me. There are usually only two contingencies where a buyer can walk away from a contract and receive their deposit back. 1. If they can't get a mortgage. 2. If you can't provide clear title to the property. Others have mentioned an appraisal and inspection contingency, but that is not my experience. Putting those items in a contract basically gives a buyer an easy out to any contract and most lawyers would not put that in a contract.

Assuming they can get a mortgage and you can provide clear title, you have a couple of options. You can sue to force them to buy they house according to the terms of the contract. In over 20 years of selling real estate I've never seen this happen. The other option is you can keep their down payment as liquidated damages. This is what I have seen most often.

This is not legal advice, but what my experience has shown. The best advice I can give is talk with your attorney.

Good luck.

Don Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - New York's #1 Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 21, 2013

You should refer back to your attorney, you will usually have options.

All the best,
Antonio Sanchez
Exit Realty Search
3928 E. Tremont ave
Bronx, NY 10465
CELL: 347-320-0673
BUS: 347-202-4965


0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 20, 2013
Your contract should state what happens if the buyer defaults. Have your agent guide you or you may want to consult a lawyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 18, 2013
Everything "should" be in the contract, go over your contract with your Realtor. If you do not have a Realtor, check into the costs of an attorney and decide if it is cheaper to release the buyer or have the attorney provide their professional opinion.
Web Reference: http://www.GetSoldOKC.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 18, 2013
Hi Sam,

Of course the best advice on this matter is the attorney representing you on the transaction and what type of clauses were added to the contract. Almost every contract has a mortgage contingency so unless the buyer didn't get a mortgage approval, then the downpayment is at risk and may be potentially yours. Again, consult with your attorney and you'll know all your rights.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 18, 2013
FYI: It is a FELONY for any person other than a Licensed Attorney, to give legal advice in the State of New York.

I'm just sayin'...

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 16, 2013
Hi Samsam,

From my understanding you are legally bound and your down payment will be at risk, unless the contract has a mortgagee clause and you receive a denial letter from the bank.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 16, 2013
Good morning Samsam,

The only person who can answer this question would be your Attorney. There are many factors involved that make each transaction unique, not the least of which is the contract of sale and its specific terms.

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
Mobile: 516-582-9181
Office: 516-829-2900
Fax: 516-829-2944
PowerHouse Solutions, Inc.
1010 Northern Blvd. Suite 234
Great Neck NY 11021
Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Dept. of Financial Services

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 16, 2013
This is a touchy matter than can hurt the seller in most cases. The contract usually have 4 contingencies. Inspection, title, mortgage and appraisal. These are four easy outs, For example, if any item come up in the inspection, the buyer can request for a huge discount of 200k off of the selling price. Of course the seller will not accept that and will not sell the home. Please check with your attorney to see if there is any clause in the contract that will allow the buyer to back out of the deal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 15, 2013
It depends on how the sellers attorney drew up the contract. How long were you in contract. Did you miss out on a potential buyer while you were in contract. Consult with your attorney and see what your options are.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 15, 2013
Your attorney can better advise, consider a consultation...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 15, 2013

You need to speak to your attorney to discuss what is stated in the signed contract and your rights as seller as well as those of the buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 15, 2013
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