Whether you are buying or selling commercial or residential real estate, there are moments between the drafting of the contract and the final closing where you may feel like the entire deal could fall through at any moment. While most sales happen without error, unfortunately, there are times where you experience a breach of contract. If you believe you have fallen victim to a breach of contract in your real estate transaction, the Scranton real estate attorneys at Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano can help.
What is a breach of contract?
A breach of contract occurs when there is any violation of a term listed within a real estate contract. However, the type of breach will determine what type of actions can be taken. The following are forms of breaches of contract to be mindful of in your real estate transactions.
Material Breach Vs. Non-Material Breach
The two main forms of breaches that occur in real estate contracts are material and non-material. A material breach occurs when one party’s actions or inactions substantially impact the other party’s ability to achieve the outcome they had been contracted to. A non-material breach is one that violated a minor condition of the real estate contract that would result in compensation to the non-breaching party.
In cases of material breaches, the non-breaching party has the option, in most cases, to not follow through with the rest of the contract.
Common Forms of Breach of Contract in Real Estate Transactions
Knowing if the breach is material or non-material will change the outcome of any litigation, should you decide to pursue it. There are a few types of material and non-material breaches that occur more frequently than others. This may hinder the real estate transaction process.
- Failing to close escrow in the allotted time;
- Improperly supplying the property deed;
- Issues of true habitability;
- Illegal subleasing;
- The seller received a better offer from someone else.
Remedies to Breach of Contract
A breach of contract can occur at the hands of either the buyer or seller and remedies are in turn, available to either party.
In cases where the buyer has breached the contract:
- Remedies are available to the seller, but they will depend on whether the buyer made a material or non-material breach; in either case, the seller may be entitled to monetary damages.
- Damages will usually be calculated based on the difference between the amount due to the real estate contract and the fair market value of the property.
In cases where the seller has breached the contract, the buyer may be entitled to damages in the amount of the price paid for the property, title, and escrow expenses; expenses incurred in an effort to enter the property; etc.
Oftentimes, these cases of breach of contract in real estate transactions are multilayered and involve money already being shuffled from buyer to seller. This is why it is imperative to meet with a trusted real estate attorney to aid you in the legal process and ensure you receive compensation for the wrongs against you. You can even put contingencies in the contract to help move through breaches of contract.
Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano Scranton Real Estate Lawyers: Breach of Contract
Real estate transactions are incredibly complicated, especially when a breach of contract occurs. That’s why you need to go with Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano. With extensive knowledge of Pennsylvania’s real estate laws, our attorneys will make sure you are compensated in your breach of contract claim and can move forward in the real estate process or move on from the property.
If you live in Northeastern Pennsylvania and are in the middle of a breach of a contract dispute, now is the time to get a Scranton real estate lawyer on your side. Put your trust in a law firm that puts your needs first. Contact Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano for a free consultation today. Serving clients in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne, Monroe, and surrounding counties.