Orem, UT asked in Real Estate Law for Utah

Q: seller wants to backout

hi I need some advice. I am in UTAH , I am seller of my house. Buyer of my house did not pay the earnest money with in 4 days of offer acceptance( he paid after 5days and did not inform us ). Can I back-out from selling contract? and What other clauses can help a seller backout?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brian Craig
Brian Craig

A: If the real estate purchase contract has a "Time of the Essence" clause or provision, this could help the seller rescinding the contract in this type of situation. The general rule with regard to contracts for the sale of land is that time is not of the essence unless the parties expressly indicate otherwise or the circumstances surrounding the transaction necessarily imply that the parties intended timeliness of performance to be of paramount concern. Cahoon v. Cahoon, 641 P.2d 140, 144 (Utah 1982).

In Griffeth v. Zumbrennen, 577 P.2d 129, 131 (Utah 1978), the court held that an objection made by vendors, upon being apprised for first time when seeking to obtain their money five days after payment was due that a personal check had been tendered by purchasers, but told by escrow agent that it was not acceptable and who had agreed to replace it with a cashier's check but never did so, was timely and vendors were entitled to rescind the contract without affording additional time to plaintiffs to perform. In Griffith, the contract included a time is of the essence clause.

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