Breach of Real Estate Contract Attorney in Orange County
A real estate purchase agreement or contract of sale contains many terms and conditions of sale. If the buyer or seller fails to comply with the terms or conditions, such as the buyer failing to come up with viable financing or the seller failing to provide clear title to the property, that party is said to have breached or defaulted on the sales agreement, and the other party may have a legal claim against the breaching party.
If either party who is responsible for complying with the specific term or condition fails to comply, that party has breached or defaulted on the contract. For example, if the seller fails to provide an abstract of title showing clear title to the property, the seller has breached the agreement. Similarly, if the seller removes built-in appliances or lighting fixtures which he had agreed to leave attached to the property, the seller has also breached the agreement. The buyer can agree to a modification of the contract as to the title or the lighting fixtures and the price, or the buyer can offer to perform under the contract and then file a claim against the seller for breach of contract.
Extenuating Circumstances and Contingencies
Most real estate contracts have a number of contingency clauses which are part to an offer to purchase real estate contract. What is a contingency clause? A contingency clause gives parties the right to back out of the contract under certain circumstances that must be negotiated between the buyer and seller. Contingencies often include details such as time limits (e.g. “The buyer has 14 days to inspect the property”) and specific terms (e.g. “The buyer has 21 days to secure a 30-year conventional loan for up to 85% of the purchase price at an interest rate no higher than 5.1%”). Any contingency clause should be clearly stated so that all parties understand the terms.
If the conditions of the contingency clauses are not met then the contract becomes null and void, and one party (typically the buyer) can back out without legal consequences. Conversely, if the conditions are met, the contract is legally binding and enforceable and a party would be in breach of contract if they then decided to back out. If there is a dispute between the parties, they must use the dispute resolution process that is detailed in the contract, which may require the parties to resolve the dispute without going to court.
Terms and Conditions
Purchase agreements and contracts of sale contain many terms and conditions that the parties have agreed to meet, such as:
- The purchase price
- The date the sale will be finalized – or “closed“
- The date the buyer will move in
- Items to be included in the sale, such lighting fixtures, appliances, etc.
- Items not included in the sale
- A legal description of the property
- A guarantee to the buyer that the seller will provide clear title to the home, through an abstract of title, certificate of title or a title insurance policy
- A provision that the seller is responsible for paying house-related expenses up to the closing date
If the parties cannot agree on how to resolve the matter, the parties must use the dispute resolution process if one has been included in the contract.
Typically in Orange County real estate sales contracts, dispute resolution will specify mediation, arbitration, or small claims court. These specified methods for resolving disputes are usually less costly and more efficient than filing a traditional lawsuit. The parties submit the matter to the arbitrator, mediator, or judge, and that person decides which party breached the contract. Sales contracts often provide for liquidated damages if one party or the other breaches the contract. That means that the sales contract provides that should there be a breach of contract, the damages to the party not in breach of contract will be for a set amount of money, which is often the amount of the buyer’s deposit or earnest money.
Who needs an Orange County Real Estate Lawyer’s Review?
Orange County real estate buyers, sellers, developers, landlords, leasers, mortgage brokers, and other parties who find themselves entangled in commercial or residential real estate conflicts are encouraged to contact Edwin Fahlen, an experienced Orange County breach of real estate contract attorney.
Mr. Fahlen is a Real Estate Attorney & a Real Estate Broker
Attorney Fahlen is an Orange County Real Estate Lawyer —and— a Real Estate Broker which brings him the perspectives of Brokers, Agents and Escrow officers in addition to developers, partners, investors, buyers, and sellers in simple or complex real estate deals. Because Edwin is a licensed and active Broker and Realtor®, all real estate matters are reviewed from two points of view: Real Estate Development Attorney and Real Estate Broker.
Edwin Fahlen’s legal and real estate experience including his multiple state licenses and affiliations with Realtors® and MLS boards allow him to provide his clients sophisticated and practical advice and solutions for their real estate purchases, disputes and litigation. The typical real estate dispute usually involves a combination of legal, financial and real estate purchase, sale or marketing issues. As an Orange County Real Estate expert, Mr. Fahlen is in a unique position to provide his clients practical and cost-effective advice.
Parties about to enter into a contractual purchase agreement – if you concerned about the real estate purchase contract you are about to be party to, a quick review might be in order for either buyer or seller. Some better wording might prevent misunderstandings that can derail an otherwise smooth purchase and make an unnecessary legal mess. A Real Estate Lawyer’s review might be especially necessary if the contingencies involve a House Sale Contingency.
What is a House Sale Contingency?
In most cases it is far smoother and easier to sell one’s existing home before buying another property as the timing and financing don’t always work out as smoothly as all parties will desire. In the real world there are buyers that didn’t know they were in the market until they stumble across that perfect property. There are dozens of reasons why House Sale Contingencies arise.
A house sale contingency – provides buyers a specified window of time to sell and settle their existing homes in order to finance the new one. This type of contingency protects buyers because, if their existing home doesn’t sell for at least the asking price, the buyer can then back out of the contract without legal consequences. House sale contingencies are often difficult on the seller, who may be forced to pass up another offer while waiting for the outcome of the contingency but decides to because the market is slow, offers are slim, the contingent buyer is a qualified and platinum potentially with significant cash to make the sale all but bulletproof; all is perfect but for the uncertainty of the buyer’s house selling at the terms of the contingency clause. If the buyer is unable to perform in the window of time specified, the seller retains the right to cancel the contract.
Professional Real Estate Litigation
Real Estate Attorney, Edwin Fahlen, represents both plaintiffs and defendants in disputes such as the following:
- Commercial property development disputes
- Landlord – tenant issues
- Eviction assistance or tenant defense
- Tenants’ / renters’ rights disputes
- Property lease breach of contract
- Contractors’ lawsuits
- Eminent domain
- Quiet title actions
Orange County Real Estate Attorney, Edwin Fahlen, advocates for real estate clients with purpose and determination to achieve optimal results in each and every case.
Free Introductory Meeting
For experienced representation when you are involved in a residential or commercial real estate matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. I encourage you to reach out to make that free introductory meeting with me by calling (714) 395-5605. There is absolutely no pressure whatsoever. Typically, people will want to sit down with a real estate lawyer to discuss their current opportunity or dilemma. I am pleased to offer this complementary legal service to residents of Orange County and beyond.
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