What could be more exciting than buying a new house? Getting your family all packed up and ready to move into a new home to start laying down memories is one of the best feelings in the world.
That’s why it can be so upsetting when a buyer and a seller get into a dispute and muddy the waters between them. Some buyer-seller disputes can get particularly heated and troublesome. Not only that, but issues can be slipped into contracts and go unnoticed with an untrained eye. You look for help but the buyer-seller dispute resolution system fails you. In times like these, you may start considering the help of an attorney. But can they really help you with your problems? Let’s see.
What is a Buyer-Seller Dispute?
It is unfortunately quite common for buyer-seller disputes to arise, particularly when large sums of money are at stake. However, the label “buyer-seller dispute” doesn’t just refer to one type of dispute. It is broad enough to cover a range of issues that could arise.
Issues such as:
- Failure to Disclose: Perhaps the most common of all the buyer-seller disputes is the failure to disclose hidden defects in a home that could have caused the buyer to not purchase the home in the first place or to offer a lower price to purchase the home.
- Contract Issues: It is not uncommon for there to be issues with the contract. Many people will use a standard form that is quite easy to read but this isn’t always the case. Often people are surprised to learn about clauses in their contracts after they have already signed them because they failed to read them closely. Disputes after the fact can be quite tedious.
- Failure to Act in Proper Interests: Disputes of this nature occur when the seller is working with a third party individual or company to facilitate the sale. If the seller feels that their agent is not working in their best interest then this can cause a dispute concerning the sale. Real estate agents are paid on a commission basis and so it is in their best interest to make a sale quickly while the seller may want to wait for a higher price offer.
- Deposit Disputes: Deposit disputes happen most often in cases where the transaction does not go through. In these cases, there is no deal but both parties have reasonable grounds to believe that they should be the one who keeps the deposit. These disputes can get quite ugly, especially in cases where this event wasn’t planned for in the contract.
- Breach of Contract: Contracts can be breached for many reasons and in many ways. Some breaches are serious enough that the law allows the nonbreaching party to cease further performance and immediately sue the breaching party. Such a breach is known as a “material breach.” Other breaches of a minor or technical nature may not allow the nonbreaching party to cease performance and sue. In either case, the breach of a contract can lead to a serious dispute. Knowing how to proceed after a breach has occurred can be the difference between winning and losing your breach of contract case.
How Can a Lawyer Help with a Buyer-Seller Dispute?
Buyer-seller disputes are never simply routine. Even a failure to disclose dispute, which may seem cut and dry when described in writing, can be quite difficult to resolve. Since disputes are never routine, it is important to know how the law applies to the facts of your unique case. A lawyer can help immensely.
A lawyer will work with you to ascertain the important facts of the case. You’ll fill them in on everything that happened. Once they have the facts, they’ll be able to recommend a course of action that maximizes your chances of achieving your goals. They’re able to pull not just from the law itself or your contract but from their history in dealing with similar cases. They’ll know what works and what doesn’t and they’ll have experience in disputes like this that help you immensely.
A lawyer can also provide the benefit of objective, level-headed analysis of the dispute between an emotionally invested buyer and seller. When you’re involved in an emotionally charged dispute, it is often easy to overlook or misinterpret your opponent’s positions on key issues, which can seriously undermine your efforts to negotiate a resolution of the dispute. Having an experienced lawyer on your side to objectively guide you to a resolution is incredibly helpful in disputes of this nature.
When Should I Get an Attorney?
Many people only get an attorney after a pretty serious dispute has arisen. If you aren’t working with an attorney and a dispute arises, then you should hire one immediately. There is a good chance you’re going to need one to keep the dispute from spiraling out of control, and almost certainly before the dispute is settled, so it’s a smart choice to get one as soon as any trouble is in sight.
But even this could be considered acting too slow. One way to avoid a potential dispute is to have an attorney look over the contract with you before you sign it and help you identify any troublesome clauses that could lead to a dispute. Contract disputes are almost always harder to deal with after the contract is signed. After all, the easiest way to settle a dispute is to prevent it from arising in the first place.
How Do I Hire an Attorney to Help Me with My Dispute?
The best way to hire an attorney is to find a law firm with experience in cases like yours and give them a call. They’ll set you up with a consultation where you’ll fill them in on what’s been happening so they can get a sense of your situation and how they can help you. A good attorney will let you know if your case is outside of their expertise and point you to an attorney that is better fit to handle your case.
Here at Vukelja & dePaula, we have experience in cases like yours and are more than happy to help you. Give us a call at (386) 676-5678 to see how we can help.