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Dealing With Collapsing Transactions – Seller’s Perspective

Collapsing Transactions - Seller's Perspective | Bernard Lau and Co. Law

Especially in today’s rising interest rate environment, it’s not always easy to sell a house. Negotiations occasionally fall through even after a contract has been signed. Therefore, it’s essential to hire a real estate lawyer to review and draft legal documents, explain your purchase and sell agreement, look out for your best interests and represent you during the transaction. The reputable lawyers at Bernard Lau and Co. will advise you on your legal rights and obligations under the purchase agreement.



Reasons a Buyer May Withdraw from a Transaction

Buyers might back out of real estate transactions for a number of reasons, including:

How to Protect Yourself During a Real Estate Transaction

There are a few ways sellers can protect themselves in case of or reduce the risk of collapsing transactions. They include:

Requesting a deposit

Requesting a deposit or earnest money from the buyer can protect you from potential financial losses if they back out of the transaction. You can use the deposit as compensation for costs incurred during the transaction or any losses that may arise due to the transaction falling through. You may even ask for the deposit to be paid directly to you as the seller, or ask the buyer to increase the deposit, although be careful asking for too much – too large of a deposit may not be enforceable.

Keeping detailed records

Maintain detailed records of all correspondence and transactions between you and the buyer and his realtor. These records can include emails, text messages and other forms of communication. If a dispute arises, they can help resolve the issue by giving clarity to the circumstances that precipitate a collapsing transaction and sufficient evidence may also deter a buyer from considering backing out of the transaction if it’s clear that he had no legitimate grounds for doing so but simply changed his mind.

Be honest

Buyers may often try to back out of a contract by claiming that the seller was not truthful to him in describing the property by playing down certain risks or even outright lying about the condition of the property. Oftentimes, a seller’s best defence is to be honest about the state of the property and to respond truthfully if any concerns from the buyer are raised. That being said, a seller usually has no obligation to disclose absolutely everything that he knows about the property due to the principle of caveat emptor (or buyer beware). Sellers have an obligation to disclose latent material defects but it can be tricky to know what constitutes such a defect that must be disclosed. Consult with your lawyer if you are unsure about whether certain disclosures are necessary.

Contacting a lawyer

You should immediately seek legal advice if a buyer backs out of the transaction. An experienced property law lawyer can guide you through the legal process and ensure your rights are protected. They can also help you navigate the dispute resolution process and represent your interests in negotiations or court. Furthermore, they’ll identify and mitigate legal risks arising from the transaction.

Are You Looking for a Real Estate Lawyer in Richmond and Metro Vancouver, BC?

If you’re a property seller dealing with a collapsing transaction, contact Bernard Lau and Co.

Our experienced lawyers will review your purchase agreement and all communication between you and the buyer. They will explore all options to get the transaction back on track and protect your interests if it falls through.

Call us at 604.285.5240 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.

The content on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Bernard Lau and Co. (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues. Bernard Lau and Co. does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this website and should not be relied upon as being proper, accurate, timely or fit for any particular individual’s own circumstances other than for educational purposes.
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