Help! Seller refuses to honour contract on home, what to do?

A recent case we have handled has shown how difficult and wearying it can be for the other party involved if one of those involved in a property deal refuses to acknowledge his contractual obligations.

The seller refuses to honour contract on home: our experience

seller refuses to honour contract on homeIn this case the refusal appeared to have been done not out of pure obstinacy, the buyer apparently had changed his mind about wishing to sell. After the offer to purchase had been signed, we sent a request to the seller’s attorney to confirm that Gunstons was doing the transfer and asked where and how the sums owing should be paid. Surprisingly there was absolutely no response to this, but some time later the seller’s attorney delivered a notice to the buyer asking him to comply with guarantees that had to be issued in terms of the offer to purchase. The buyer could not do this for the simple reason that the bank account and other details which had been requested from the seller still had not been given to the buyer or his attorney.

The seller’s attorney was informed about this on several occasions and he was told that he was putting the buyer into an awkward position and he must act forthwith. Still there was no reaction. Seven days later, after consulting with our client, we cancelled the transaction.

The buyer, our client, was extremely upset about this, not only because he really wanted the house but also because he had arranged to move out of the rented premises in which he and his family were living.

The seller refuses to honour contract on home: what to do?

What motivated the seller’s lack of co-operation and recalcitrance? The answer is that we simply don’t know.It appears that the seller had simply decided that he did not want to sell and, having a close tie with his attorney (we understand that they were related), he resorted to this frustrating tactic to bring the sale to an end.

The buyer could have pursued the matter and could almost certainly have won his case, but this would have involved long delays and the big costs of a high court action. This most certainly would not have been worth it. He therefore decided to walk away from the deal and look elsewhere for a home. While this might not have been the most satisfactory outcome for him, in the circumstances, this was the best option. Neither he nor we have heard from the seller since.

If you are buying a home and find yourself in a similar situation, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] for assistance in considering your legal options.

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