Can I sue for damages if a seller breaches contract?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I sue for damages if a seller breaches contract?

I am a real estate agent representing the Buyer and we are near the end of
closing. The issue is that there is an HOA violation on the property for paint
maintenance seller was notified 2/24/2017, which means that the home needs
to be painted before we can close escrow. The seller does not want to do it,
which will stop the transaction, thus, the seller will breach the contract due to
close of escrow date. What can we agent and buyer get for damages if we

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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The BUYER can sue the seller for breach of contract, if the seller violates its terms (e.g. does not close) and could seek, for example, "specific performance"--a court order requiring the seller to close, including taking any necessary steps (like painting) to be able to do so. The buyer should consult with an attorney about this option, to see if it makes sense.
The agent cannot sue, because you are not in a contract with the seller requiring them to sell. The chance of a deal falling through after you have invested time, work, etc. in it is, as you know, a risk of being an agent.

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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