how do i force seller to honor contract in new york. they received a higher offer

Asked by Yvonne, Canastota, NY Sat May 24, 2008

i entered into a contract on 4/14 with a contingency for the sale of my home. The sellers got a better offer on 5/1 and activated the recall clause. I had 480 hours to find a buyer, til 5/21. I removed the contingency within on the last day. The only contingency to my contract was for a home inspection. That was waived the next day. all the paperwork was faxed to the sellers attorney. They are now saying they "may" not honor the contract because they doubt that they I have the ability to close. I have already provided a pre-approval letter for financing and will have the balance of the purchase price from the proceeds of my house. I also provided my buyers pre-approval. The contract gives me 2 weeks after the contingency is waived to provide proof of financing, a commitment letter. Can I file a lis pendens lawsuit and force them to sell to me, specific performance. If I do, do I have a good chance of prevailing. Thank you.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Sun May 25, 2008
Realtors, by law, are not allowed to give legal advice. Please seek the assistance of an attorney.
Web Reference:
2 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Sun May 25, 2008
Correct answer Gail! i see the thumbs down sprite is back. Why would anyone give your 100% advice a thumbs down. Time to get rid of the voting.
1 vote
Barbara Cart…, Agent, New Paltz, NY
Sun May 25, 2008
In New York, we reccomend that you hire an attorney to handle the sale and purchase of a home. As a real estate agent it is impossible to answer this question with more that speculation. You state that you "entered into contrat on 4/14". Was that handled by an attorney? The best advice I can give is to consult your attorney for legal advice. Depending on the wording in the contract an attorney can advise you in which direction to go.
I wish you rhe best of luck.
Barbara Carter Exit Realty Services New Paltz NY
1 vote
The Roskelly…, Agent, Gambrills, MD
Sun Jan 6, 2013
Sure you can. But consult with an attorney first. This is a sticky situation that needs review of all relevant documents.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Sun May 25, 2008
Consult a real estate attorney. The contract will be the operative document. One question, though, you say that you removed the contingency regarding the sale of your house "on the last day." Then you add that your contingency regarding a home inspection was removed "on the next day." So: How long did you have to remove the inspection contingency?

A lawyer will advise you on how to tie up the property. However, a lawyer may tell you (as lawyers have told me more than once): You may prevail in court. But it will be very expensive. My comments aren't legal advice, just an observation on what you may encounter.

If the second offer was only marginally higher, you may well be able to work out a deal with the sellers. On the other hand, recognize where you're coming from: They believe (perhaps correctly) that you must sell your current home in order to purchase theirs. From your question, it's not clear that you did; that would have been spectacular timing to have received a contract on your property the day before the contingency expired. So, if you haven't sold your home, and your ability to purchase theirs depends on your sale, then they have a legitimate concern over whether you'll be able to purchase. (And, a piece of advice: In this market, even if you can purchase theirs, you really, really don't want to have purchased a new home while trying to sell your old one.)

But, see a lawyer.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Buying in Popular Schenectady Neighborhoods

Email me when…

Learn more