Can a private seller refuse to sell an item3 days after the date on the bill of sale and if half of the purchase price has been paid?

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Can a private seller refuse to sell an item3 days after the date on the bill of sale and if half of the purchase price has been paid?

I bought a motorcycle 3 days ago and paid half. The rest was to be paid today on pickup. Now the seller is thinking of refusing to sell me the bike and giving my money back. I wrote up a bill of sale with dates, names, the bike, and amounts of money all with both signatures and my parent as a witness. Can he refuse to sell it now?

Asked on January 28, 2012 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there was an agreement to sell the item, and the buyer (you) has complied with your obligations under the agreement, then the seller has to go ahead with the sale. An agreement to sell an item is as enforceable as any other contract; neither the buyer to the seller can get out of the contract without the agreement of the other, unless the contract specificaly provided that he or she could. (So, for example, if the agreement of sale said that the seller could cancel by returning all monies paid, that would be legal--that would have had to have been agreed to by both of you in advance.)


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