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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 19327
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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When a buyer backs out on a deal after buyer and seller have

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When a buyer backs out on a deal after buyer and seller have signed off on it and surveying charges are pending, who pays? I the seller have already paid 700.00 for drainage surveying. The sale was contingent on city okaying for driveway sites being built up to road level before the city commission would ok or not ok them. Buyer chose not to comply with request and is backing out of deal and still wants me to pay half of surveying which was his request anyway to lay it out in different lots than was already surveyed. Did he break the contract by not complying with this. This land has had a sold sign on it since the middle of May. I have never seen any earnest monies or anything form buyer and I feel like I have been left holding the bag and land tied up all this time. I want to be fair
Thank you very much
Hello: This is PhillipsEsq. I am a licensed Attorney and I will be assisting you today.


When a buyer backs out on a deal after buyer and seller have signed off on it and surveying charges are pending, who pays? I the seller have already paid 700.00 for drainage surveying. The sale was contingent on city okaying for driveway sites being built up to road level before the city commission would ok or not ok them. Buyer chose not to comply with request and is backing out of deal and still wants me to pay half of surveying which was his request anyway to lay it out in different lots than was already surveyed. Did he break the contract by not complying with this. This land has had a sold sign on it since the middle of May. I have never seen any earnest monies or anything form buyer and I feel like I have been left holding the bag and land tied up all this time. I want to be fair
Thank you very much



Response: Yes, Buyer broke the contract by refusing to comply. And yes, you are being more than fair. However and quite regrettably, to avoid litigation and the cost that comes with it, you may have to take the Buyer's offer and call it even. If you refuse the Buyer's offer to share the expense 50/50, you must then file a lawsuit against the Buyer for breach of contract. Once the lawsuit is filed, you would not receive a penny from the Buyer in a long time as the case goes through the Court system. The case may not even be resolved until a year later. Even then, the Buyer can still refuse to pay and you must once more go back to Court to try to enforce your Judgment. So, it is better to resolve the issue amicably at this time to avoid involving the Courts eventhough the offer is quite unfair.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was thinking more about small claims court and I understand this could be over within a month. I just want it over and done with and move on with sale of property. I sometimes suspect my real estate person of consorting with buyer because of proposals he has put to me on behalf of buyer to reduce land after we had already signed off. Twice this happened.


Thank you

I was thinking more about small claims court and I understand this could be over within a month. I just want it over and done with and move on with sale of property. I sometimes suspect my real estate person of consorting with buyer because of proposals he has put to me on behalf of buyer to reduce land after we had already signed off. Twice this happened.

Thank you

Response: Yes, even if you prevail in Small Claims Court, which is very likely, you would still send a request to the Buyer to pay. If the Buyer does not pay, you have to go back to Court. It is just not worth it for the amount of money involved to litigate.

If your agent is working with the Buyer, then the agent is in violation of his fiduciary duty to you if the agent is doing things that are not in your interest. You can bring your concerns to the attention of the agent and let the agent know that his actions are not appreciated and if he continues to work against you that you would challenge the commission that he would receive as part of the sale, or report him to the licensing board.