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FACTS:

Despite the seller’s contractual obligations, it appears the seller will not close escrow and complete the transaction, because she does not have sufficient funds to move.

ISSUE:

If the seller does not close escrow, what are the remedies? If the seller does close escrow, but does not move, what are the remedies?

ANSWER:

See Discussion.

DISCUSSION:

If the seller does not timely close escrow, the buyer is to issue a Cure Period Notice. If the breach is not timely cured, the buyer has three remedies. The buyer can cancel the contract and accept the earnest deposit as damages. The buyer can file a suit for specific performance to enforce the contract and attach a Lis Pendens to the property. Or, the buyer can sue for monetary damages for the breach (i.e., the replacement cost of purchasing a different house).

If the seller does close escrow, but does not timely move, the buyer should issue a Five-Day Notice to Vacate. If after expiration of the five day period the seller remains in the property, the buyer can proceed with a forcible entry and detainer action and seek to have the seller removed from the property. That requires a formal action being filed in Justice Court to obtain the required order.