If you've been waiting to close on the home of your dreams and cannot wait to move in, you may be particularly aggrieved if the seller decides to pull out at the last moment. In a case like this, you may have signed a contract, paid a deposit, and fully expect them to go through with their side of the deal. What can you do in this situation? Are you able to get compensation from the seller, or can you go even further?

Seeking Compensation for Breach of Contract

A real estate contract is legally enforceable in a court of law. So long as you were within your rights and able to go forward, you can pursue the seller for default. You should approach them to ask for compensation and give them a reasonable amount of time to come forward. If they don't, you can take the case to court and get an order that will compel them to pay you. Damages in this situation could help compensate you for pest and building reports, legal or conveyancing fees and any other out-of-pocket expenses you might have incurred. If you need to go to court, you can also look for compensation to pay most of your costs from having to bring that application.

Compel Specific Performance

When you are particularly enamoured with that property and have not seen anything else in the nearby area that fits the bill, you may be able to apply to the court for a specific type of order linked to "specific performance." This type of order would compel the seller to go through with the transaction in line with the original contract. You would then need to pay them the agreed price.

Seller's Potential Defence

A seller can try to mount a defence against specific performance. They could say that they made a mistake but may then be liable to pay compensation to you. Alternatively, they could say that going ahead with the sale would cause them extreme inconvenience, which would far outweigh your grievance. They may also have a range of other defences, so you'd need to think carefully before trying to compel them to sell.

Getting the Correct Support

In any case, you may well need legal support. In this case, engage the services of a lawyer who has experience in the real estate industry and is familiar with this type of compensation claim. They'll advise you what to do and be with you at every step of the journey.

Contact a compensation lawyer near you for more information.