First-time sellers: May a seller change his mind after signing?
Hi, if once all the papers have already been signed by the seller and buyer, and the documentation has been handed to the transfer attorney, can the seller halt the process by changing his mind about selling the property? Is he liable for any costs incurred as well? – Micah
Hi Micah, the answer to the first question is no. The moment the seller and purchaser sign the deed of sale a valid and binding contract comes into operation.
The exception to the aforesaid is when the contract stipulates that the seller should accept the purchaser’s offer on or before a certain date and the seller only accepted the offer after that date.
Should the seller not wish to proceed he or she is in fact repudiating the contract.
The purchaser’s remedies will be set out in the contract and will usually entail claiming damages or specific performance (that the seller should proceed with the sale).
The agent may be able to claim commission from the seller as he has fulfilled his mandate.
The transferring attorney may claim wasted costs as per the prescribed tariffs of the Law Society. Depending on the amount of work done on the file the wasted costs will range between 10% and 90% of the transfer fee.
First-time seller, got a burning question? E-mail email@example.com
Who is Sonja du Toit?
Sonja du Toit is a director at MC van der Berg Incorporated