What can you do if a seller gets cold feet?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2022 | Firm News

Just as it is in many other states, Connecticut’s real estate market is experiencing a boom. In fact, between July 2020 and July 2021, home prices increased by roughly 16% while inventory fell by 30%. Put simply, it may be a struggle to find the right house to buy.

Finding a home, of course, is only part of the battle. As a first-time homebuyer, you probably need to secure a mortgage, conduct an inspection and make it to closing. Before you get there, your seller may get cold feet or otherwise decide to back out of the contract.

You can get your money back

If the seller chooses to breach your real estate contract, you can probably get back any money you have paid. This is not likely to make you whole, though, as you are back to square one. That is, you must once again try to compete in a red-hot real estate market that benefits sellers and is unfriendly to buyers.

You can file a civil action

Because getting your money back does not cover your damages, you may want to consider filing a civil action for breach of contract. With this approach, you ask a judge to order the seller to pay you monetary damages.

You can seek specific performance

It may also be possible to seek specific performance of your real estate contract. This means you pursue a legal order that requires the seller to hand over the property to you. If you are purchasing a residential home, though, succeeding with your specific performance claim may be difficult. After all, a judge is not likely to kick the seller out of his or her home.

Ultimately, because you have options for protecting yourself when a seller gets cold feet after signing a real estate contract, you may emerge from a contract breach in a better position than you think.