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Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5128
Experience:  Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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I am about to close sale of a new home construction (in the

Customer Question

I am about to close sale of a new home construction (in the state of washington). When I visited the site last week, i find that the exterior coloring of the house is really ugly and is obvious that it was just done in haste with no attention being paid to aesthetic. All the other houses in the community has one of 3-4 standard schemes except mine and it just stands out in an ugly manner even though I paid the standard price. I consider the work sub-standard. But according to the sale of contract, the exterior coloring scheme is totally determined by the builder and I have no say in it. The builder has told me they wont do anything to address my concern. Do I have any legal option to address my concern or atleast walk out of the contract with earnest money intact.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Washington
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: Yes
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The contract also mentions that any disputes will be resolved only by arbitration.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 1 month ago.

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. This appears to be a classic breach of contract. A breach of contract just simply means that one party was obligated to perform and they have either have not performed or have said that they will not perform. Typically, the aggrieved party is entitled to be returned to the same position they were in before the breach. In your case it is a bit tricky because there is a difference between a material breach and a minor breach and breaches based on objective or subjective criteria. In your case, you would have to argue not only was this a material breach, meaning that your right to receive a benefit in the contract has been terminated, but also that your subject belief that the work was done is reasonable. One of the things that you could do to help is maybe contact some other contractors in your area who do the same kind of work and ask them their opinion on the home. Also, you may want to ask an appraiser who specializes in valuing homes whether this hurts the value. This way, you could further prove that your belief is not only reasonable, but it may also be objective as well. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract (click here). It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to either go through an informal mediation or file a lawsuit in your local court.

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