If a seller decides to sell to someone else, do you get back what you have paid towards purchase price?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If a seller decides to sell to someone else, do you get back what you have paid towards purchase price?

I have a purchase agreement and been paying on house for almost 4 years. Is seller responsible to pay back what has been paid toward purchase if they sell to someone else?

Asked on October 27, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If it was "rent to own," they may keep the portion that represented the reasonable or fair market rent but return the portion that was the extra over that towards the ourchase price. If you were not renting but were just paying over time, they would have to return it all if they chose to sell to someone else. In not selling to you, they breached their conract or obligation (assuming that you did not first breach your obligations under the agreement; if they did, that would justify them in terminating the agreement while keeping your money) and therefore must return the purchase price portion of your payments, since they cannot breach their obligations while keeping your money. If they should return your money but do not, you could sue them for 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 AttorneyPages.com 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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