Do I owe money if a real estate contract expired?

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Do I owe money if a real estate contract expired?

I signed a contract to buy land and have a house built the seller is a builder. There
were a lot of delays. One month after the last contract extension expired I
terminated the transaction. Now the seller wants me to pay 22k for the well
instillation, design, etc. I dont think I legally owe any money.

Asked on October 26, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The issue is, who caused the delays and expiration? If it was the seller, such as by not being ready to sell, then the  seller breached the contract in a material or important way, and it is likely that you are correct and that the breach means you do not owe the seller any money. (As a general rule, one party's breach of contract enables the other party to treat the contract as terminated by the breach.)
But that is only if the delay and inability to close was due to the seller. If you or any third parties (e.g. your bank, if there were delays were getting mortgage approval)  were at fault, you would still be obligated under the contract (only the other party's breach terminates it) and so likely would have to pay compensation or "damages" to the seller.


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