Make Seller to close Escrow

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Make Seller to close Escrow

We trying to buy a vacant land in Sacramento, CA. We got into ratified contract on May 30, 2019 with COE June 21, 2019. Since then prices went up and Seller doing everything possible to destroy the transaction to sell property for more. We were never in the breach of contract and were ready to close of escrow on June 21, 2019. It’s been more than 2 month and we still can’t close of escrow. Now Seller wants to change the terms of the original contract and we are not agreeing. Seller’s Agent said that if we won’t agree to the new terms than they want to cancel the contract. Can they do that? Can they cancel ratified contract?

Asked on August 14, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, a seller cannot cancel a contract. Contracts are binding and can be enforced in court if necessary: that's the whole point of a contract. A party to a contract can only get out of it if the other side (i.e. you) breached or violated it in some significant or "material" way; or the other side (you) lied about something important to get them to enter into the contract (fraud); or if there is a provision in the contract allowing them to get out of it and they fully comply with that provision.
Otherwise, they are locked into the contract. That also means they can't change any of its terms without your consent or agreement: neither party to a contract can unilaterally (on its own) alter it. 
You can sue them for "breach of contract" for not going through with it and closing, as they were supposed to. You can sue for "specific performance," or a court order requiring them to sell to you. Consult with an attorney about this option.

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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