When it comes to contracts related to real estate matters, you may think that there is nothing left to worry about once all parties sign the contract. It can be shocking to learn that your objectives remain out of reach because the other party backed out. Whether it's a purchase contract or any other type of legal agreement pertaining to residential real estate, breach of contract is serious.
If you have experienced the negative impact of a situation involving a breach of contract, you may be wondering what is next for you. It may be appropriate for you to move forward with a lawsuit to seek appropriate damages. Before you initiate the legal process or make any important decisions, it may help to first learn more about all of the legal options available to you.
What should you do first?
It is not always in your interests to immediately file a lawsuit after a breach of contract. In some cases, the possibility of an out-of-court resolution is possible. It is prudent to first see if there is a way to resolve this issue without heading for litigation, such as through alternative dispute resolution methods. This will save you the time and money often associated with pursuing damages through a civil claim.
Enforcement or damages?
If it is clear that an out-of-court resolution is not possible, then you will need to consider whether you wish to compel the other party to adhere to the original terms and enforce the contract, or if it is best to seek damages. Depending on the amount in question, it may be possible to resolve the issue in small claims court.
If you determine to move forward with a lawsuit, it can help to learn more about the potential remedies that may be available to you. Some of these include:
- Specific performance, which is an alternate remedy that can still allow you to meet your goals
- Damages, including compensatory damages, punitive damages and more
- Cancellation of the contract and restitution of financial losses associated with the breach of contract
Legal contracts are binding agreements, whether it is a purchase agreement for a home, a construction contract or contract for repairs. No matter the specific nature of the contract issue, you have the right to seek a reasonable and beneficial outcome to your case.
You may want to discuss the remedies available to you by talking with a Texas attorney experienced in real estate contracts and other related legal issues.