Breach of Oklahoma Real Estate Contract – Possible Repercussions
The Oklahoma Uniform Contract for Residential Contract of Sale of Real Estate is very specific about repercussions when the contract is breached by the Buyer or Seller. During the time period allowed for inspections and finalizing of financing, there are several instances where either party can legally cancel the contract.
However after that time period is up, there are possible repercussions if one party elects to not follow through with the transaction.
If the Buyer changes his mind after the allotted time period and if the Seller has performed all obligations as outlined in the contract, the Seller may terminate the contract and retain all sums paid by the Buyer, not to exceed 5% of the purchase price. Needless to say, the Buyer will lose his earnest money. The Seller may also pursue any other remedy available at law or in equity, including specific performance.
I’ve never seen this go to court and hope that I never do. But if the Buyer changes his mind at the last minute, I can’t imagine what damages the Seller might seek. Could someone else have purchased his property during the time period it was taken off the market? I would think that the possible suffering of the Seller could be very subjective and very costly.
Virtually the same options are available to the Buyer if the Seller changes his mind and fails to close. He is entitled to the return of his earnest money and can pursue any other remedy available at law or in equity, including specific performance.
Please understand that a real estate contract is an enforceable contract, and don’t ever enter one lightly. There is always a domino effect in a real estate transaction, because everyone is moving somewhere else and getting on with their life. If you think your earnest money is the maximum amount you can lose if you breach a real estate contract, please read the verbiage again about remedies available and specific enforcement.
There’s a reason why we use a written contract instead of making a handshake deal.