Q: I’m a seller, we’re in contract (contingent on finding new home) however, due to the corona we can’t . Can we cancel?
I’m a seller, we are selling our home and have been in contract for a few months. We did receive a down payment. The contract is contingent on finding another home, however we have not been successful and the Corona pandemic has halted the search. We want to pull out of the deal and return the down payment. What can we do?
A: Greetings. It appears you would like to get out of a home sale contract. You likely have an attorney and your question therefore should be directed to that attorney. They will know the details of the contract best. If you do not have an attorney, you must get one. The attorney will review the contract and see if any of its provisions allow you to cancel the contract, such as provisions that talk about force majeure. Even if the contract is silent as to the matter, you may nevertheless be able to cancel based on common law principles of contract. Please note however the best way may be to just have a conversation with the buyers. Please speak with a good New York attorney for further guidance. Good luck.
A: If your contract has a contingency for finding a replacement property that should be enough to cancel provided you made a good faith effort to find the replacement property (what is considered a good faith effort is during a stay at home order is unknown). There maybe other clauses in the contract as well that permit you to exit or extend the contract such as force majure (an act of god). I recommend you read your contract thoroughly and hire an attorney if you don't already have one. Right now with the stay at home orders in effect in New York it is uncertain times and the answer will not always be clear. Best of luck.
A: You are certainly not alone in being a party to a real estate contract that has been impact by the COVID crisis. The options available to you depend upon the exact terms of your written contract of sale. Although I'm sure you have an attorney representing you in the transaction, it would be advisable to consult with a real estate litigation attorney to review the contract terms and present your options to you. When you approach negotiations to withdraw from a contract of sale, it is useful to do so from a position of strength... Having litigation counsel open the negotiations on your behalf lets the other party know you mean business.
A: If that is how your contract precisely reads, you should have the right and ability to cancel the transaction.
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