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Attorney Ben Proto - The Musings of a Mad Lawyer

Friday, June 28, 2019

Can I Break My Connecticut Real Estate Contract?

A party will sometimes enter into a real estate contract only to later determine that he or she no longer wishes to complete the transaction. Breaking a real estate contract without legal justification, however, can result in a lawsuit. Luckily, many real estate contracts contain contingencies that allow a party to terminate the agreement if certain conditions are met. If you have entered into a real estate contract that you’d like to terminate, please review the information below and contact a Connecticut real estate attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. 

Common contingencies

  • Appraisal requirement – A buyer may break a real estate contract if the property is appraised at a lower amount than its asking price.

  • Clear title requirement – In a real estate transaction, the seller must provide the buyer with clear title to the property. When the seller can’t do this, the buyer can terminate the agreement.

  • Review of HOA guidelines – A buyer is typically permitted to review HOA guidelines prior to closing. If a buyer is unhappy with these guidelines, then he or she may cancel the agreement. 

  • Financing requirement – Real estate contracts usually allow either party to terminate a contract if the buyer can’t obtain financing. 

Clear Home inspection – If problems are uncovered during a home inspection, then the buyer can terminate the contract. 

Common remedies

When one party breaks a real estate contract in the absence of a valid contingency, the other party to the agreement has the following remedies available: 

  • Damages – A non-breaching party may file an action in civil court for monetary damages.

  • Termination of the contract – If either party breaches a real estate contract, then the other party may terminate the contract. 

  • Specific performance of the contract - If the seller refuses to surrender his or her property to the buyer, then the buyer may be able to file a civil action for specific performance. Specific performance is a remedy in which the purchaser asks the court to force the seller to transfer the property. However, most courts are reluctant to grant specific performance.

Contact our Connecticut real estate attorney today

Real estate transactions, whether residential or commercial, can be complicated, so it’s important to enlist the help of an experienced Connecticut real estate attorney to assist you. At the Law Office of Benjamin S. Proto, Jr., our experienced Connecticut real estate professionals keep both buyers and sellers apprised of their rights and duties while providing valuable legal advice. If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in Connecticut, please contact us for a free consultation.

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