Can a seller renege on a sighned contracted house sale?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a seller renege on a sighned contracted house sale?

My brother squatted in my home for many years. I
allowed it because I felt bad for him. Now he’s back
on his feet, destroyed my home and wants to buy it
at the price it’s worth less the amount it will cost
to fix what he’s done to it. He and his new wife
have threatened me. They borrowed money from our dad
for tearing down trees and repairs and did such
repairs and said, you owe dad 17,000. He undercut
the worth with his agent ex father inlaw. I am now
selling at a loss, and owe dad 17,000.00 Can I get
out of this sale?

Asked on February 11, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you agreed to sell it to him, you are obligated to go through with the sale unless;
1) He threated you with violence or criminal activity to make you agree to the contract.
2) He lied about something critical to get you to sign the agreement (committerd fraud).
3) After signing, he violates his own obligations under the contract, such as by not paying a deposit when he should.
4) The contract has some cancellation clause that lets you out of it, and you comply with the clause's requirements.
Otherwise, regardless of his pre-contract behavior or whether you should have entered into the contract or will take a loss on it, you are obligated to the contract and must go through with it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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