Specific performance is a remedy that a court may give in a breach of contract action. The court orders the breaching party to comply with the contract. In a real property dispute, this may require the breaching party to sell the property to the buyer under the contract terms.
When to Seek Specific Performance
Specific performance is generally only used in cases where money damages don’t adequately compensate the non-breaching party. Money damages are the best remedy in many cases, but not when the property in question is unique in some way.
All real properties are unique by their nature. If you have a contract to buy a property and the seller backs out, there is no substitute property you could purchase that would be exactly the same as your desired property. Therefore, courts may order specific performance and force the sale to go through in these cases.
You should seek specific performance if you want to proceed with the purchase instead of pursuing other legal remedies. Contact a real estate litigation attorney to go over your options.
Specific performance offers several benefits:
- You can the property you originally wanted at the terms negotiated in your contract.
- You don’t have to look for a replacement property that may not fit your needs as well.
- You don’t need to negotiate the terms of the contract, get financing, and go through the other steps of buying a property again.
The seller may attempt to argue against specific performance if you failed to meet your terms under the contract. For example, if you failed to satisfy a condition of the contract, such as obtaining financing, the seller may claim that you materially breached and excused them from completing the sale.
Your attorney will carefully review the course of events to look for potential defenses the seller may try to use and arguments that reject those defenses.
Other Legal Remedies
You may also be able to sue for money damages. If you no longer wish to move forward with the purchase, you may also be able to back out of the deal and recover any costs you’ve incurred.
Earnest money or other amounts you’ve paid may be awarded in certain cases. Your exact measure of damages will depend on the specific facts of your case.
King Law Offices is a full-service law firm with an outstanding team of professionals who work diligently, creatively, and compassionately on behalf of our clients each day. We serve the Upstate of South Carolina and Western North Carolina. Call 888-748-KING (5464) today to set up a consultation with one of our dedicated civil litigation attorneys.