The foundation of any real estate undertaking is the contract. Under Texas real estate law, contracts bind the seller and buyer, and outline obligations. Problems and potential litigation often arise when a party refuses to abide by the contract. Following a breach of contract, you have a couple of remedies available.
Texas Real Estate Law
According to Texas real estate law, a contract must be in writing to adhere to the Statute of Frauds. This requirement helps avoid fraud with a clear framework of which parties are obliged to do what. The written contract will include all the pertinent terms of agreement between the parties, including:
- the property’s address
- the amount of good-faith deposit
- the purchase price of the property
- the closing date, i.e. the competition of purchase
- how the buyer will purchase the property
- how property taxes will be allocated between the seller and buyer
- what is included in the sale, such as furniture, fixtures, or other items
- what is excluded from the sale, i.e. what the seller intends to take with them
Occasionally, a sale is contingent on a specific event occurring. For example, a buyer might be attempting to sell their current home to afford the new home. If they are unable to sell their home in time, the sale will have to fall through. Additionally, a buyer might need to secure a mortgage to finance the home. If they are unable to secure financing, the sale will fall through as well.
A valid real estate contract will contain multiple contingencies. When a contingency is not met, either the seller or the buyer may provide notice of termination of transaction. Notably, this is not a breach of contract.
Common Contract Breaches
At AZ Law Firm, we are familiar with all kinds of breaches, including:
- Pulling out of the contract without a legitimate reason
- Selling a home without the items specified in the contract
- Refusing to pay on time
- Failing to deliver
Some sellers or buyers get cold feet and attempt to back out of the transaction, even if the contract doesn’t permit them to do so. This action causes a breach of contract. The non-breaching party may then consider pursuing filing for breach of contract.
Suing for Breach of Contract
As expected, the purpose of filing a lawsuit for breach of contract is to remedy the breach. Depending upon who breached the contract (buyer or seller), the remedies usually are as follows:
- If the buyer breached, then, most often, the seller may terminate the contract and sue for monetary damages. For example, if the seller ultimately sells the home but for less than the amount stated in the breached contract, the seller may sue for the difference.
- If the seller breaches, the buyer may sue for reasonable expenses, compensation, and return of their good-faith deposit. Additionally, the buyer may also request the termination of the contract.
One remedy that often goes unnoticed is specific performance. Specific performance refers to forcing the breached party to proceed with the sale and transfer of property. Typically, specific performance is utilized when a seller tries to pull out of the contract; the buyer seeks to force the sale. Texas real estate law does allow enforcement of specific performance. However, both parties must meet certain requirements. These requirements generally require the aid of experienced counsel.
Seek Representation Immediately
If you are amid a breach of contract, our real estate attorneys are here to help. We know how stressful this time can be. Give us a call for a free consultation, and we’ll begin strategizing which remedy best suits you.
Our clients receive individualized attention from an attorney, not an assistant or paralegal. Although we handle a wide range of legal issues, our attorneys are limited to practicing a few practice areas to give you the specialized care you need. We are compassionate attorneys that will listen closely to ensure your voice is heard and to implement potential strategies that most other attorney will miss. Call us for a free consult with our real estate attorney to see why we vastly differ than most law firms.
- seeking the relief you need
- evaluating and tailoring a creative strategy for your individual case
- explaining the nuances and subtleties of the law in a clear and concise manner
- effectively communicating with you in a way that will exceed your expectations
- and aggressively protecting and defending your rights
We understand times are tough and that there probably hasn’t been a tougher time in your life. Although we could get away with charging exuberant amounts, we prefer not to as we are a law firm by the people, for the people. We do not want you to worry about whether you can afford to hire an attorney to protect and defend your rights. Call us for Texas Real Estate Law consult and be surprised at the quality you receive compared to what other law firms will quote you!
Accordingly, the attorneys at AZ Law Firm will always provide you with a free initial consultation. During this initial consultation, our criminal lawyers will evaluate your case, inform you of any legal options that may be available, and allow you to ask any questions that you may have. AZ Law Firm offers affordable rates for all our clients and will work with you on payment plans. Our firm accepts checks, debit cards, and most major credit cards to cover the costs of your legal representation.