Can seller just walk away from a contract?

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Can seller just walk away from a contract?

My mom found a house that she wanted to buy, so she put her offer and it was accepted. Eventually she

signed the contract to the house but only one of the sellers signed the contract. She was waiting out the 30

days for the sellers to move. She was under the impression that the other person was going to sign it, however she

asked for hardwood floors to be added to the house since they had cats. Now they want to sell the house for more,

because of the changes made. So today they were supposed to meet up at the title company to sign over the deed

and sign more paperwork, but the sellers never showed because they want more money for the house. Can the sellers just walk away at closing? Can anything be done about it?

Asked on May 31, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If both sellers had signed, your mother could enforce the contract against them: possibly to force the sale ("specific performance" of the contract) or at least to get compensation.
But you write that only one seller signed. Since every owner (everyone on the title) of a property must agree to sell, if one seller did not agree, there was no valid, enforceable contract: a contract was never entered into. 
Furthermore, your mother asked for a change to be made to the home after she signed the contract; that could be taken as changing her offer (which was no longer for the house as it was, but for the house plus hardwood floors) before the other side fully accepted (by both sellers signing), which would invalidate her original offer.
Based on what you write, your mother does not appear to be able to force the sellers to sell to her.


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