Can a seller pull out once contracts are signed ?

Can a seller pull out of a sale once contracts are signed ?


As long as the contract was signed by the owner(s) (important that your solicitor has validated this), and that you (or your solicitor) have an original signed copy and the deposit was paid and drawn (in itself a very powerful action), the answer is no.

There are legendary cases of sellers trying to find minor clauses around misrepresentation of the buyer or even trying to construct arguments that while being the owner they were not authorised to sell however in court it is very hard to deny a signed contract.

If there is any reasonable chain of correspondence in addition to the contract (i.e. solicitors e-mails and letters showing that a transaction was being contemplated) this further seals it - there have been cases where a contract signed out of the blue (i.e. went into your neighbours front room with a contract and ‘hoodwinked’ him into signing) have also been contested but it is still a very long shot.

No, But that assumes both sides have signed.

Normal practice is that the buyers signs first and than the seller signs.

There is no contract until both parties sign. Has the seller signed the contract?

Unkess lender balks at last minute (unlikely) then nope.
Why you ask?

But to be clear, that is the buyers lender bailing (i.e. the seller has no control over this)

Seller won’t issue closing documents until we pay property tax which we are not liable for as they owned the house on the 1st of November
We don’t want to lose the house but don’t want to give in either. The delay was them issuing the contracts in the first place. They have signed contracts

Is it really the case that an Irish court would issue an order for specific performance on an Irish house sale? Is it truly the case that the property is so special that liquidated damages (ie cash compensation) would not be an adequate remedy?

How much is the tax? As irritating as it might be, maybe make a commercial decision.

they will do specific performance
the cash compensation can be used if the buyer opts for it but is tricky as there will usually be differing views on it
easier for the courts to enforce the contract (and they do)

Recent case on Shrewsbury Road:
seller disclosed additional issues after signing the contract
buyer complained the issues were material and wanted justice
seller told the buyer deal was off and to rip up the contract
buyer decided they wanted the house but wanted a further price reduction due these issues
went to court and settled in advance where they got the house and a big price reduction

Pay it and get a refund off Revenue once the sale closes.

I think only the person who paid it can request the refund.

Checked out the Revenues FAQs earlier before claiming exempted status on new house. As the vendor owned it on the assessment date in this case, a full years tax is due, no refunds. Is there a reference to the LPT in the contract, that’s really the clincher. If its in there, cough it up, if not, tell them to go and swing for it.

If you’re not in a hurry, just do nothing. Stop answering queries. Tell your solicitor to stop responding to anything other than a written letter. Just go quiet on them for a couple of weeks. Once the hassling of your solicitor reaches a frenzy (and they’ll probably get the EA involved too) ask if they’re ready to close as per the signed contract.

Their only options are

  1. Sue for specific performance
  2. Try and pull out, in which case you can sue them for specific performance

No-one wants to go to court over a couple of hundred quid; it’s just a case of who blinks first.

It never ceases to amaze what delays closings, one person willing to pay €200k and another getting €200k, and they fight over the RPT, or a table, or the light fittings…

Or the thought ;
If we were putting it on the market this month - we could seek another 25K!

We asked our Solicitor to ask the Vendors Solicitor would the vendors be prepared to split the 2014 property tax 50% each way and they agreed. Our Solicitor had advised us before hand that the contract we had signed made us liable for the 2014 property tax because of the standard wording from the Law Society in relation to the LPT (Did not know we were going to be exempt from property tax until early November). No harm in asking but be prepared to pay the full 2014 LPT tax and good luck with the move.

Thanks so much for the replies and advise
It is not in the contract, no mention of it until the day we are supposed to close
It is a lot more than a few hundred, more like a few thousand.
We are in a hurry to close and we did well on the house prices so don’t know if we should just give in and pay it. We don’t want to risk the sale
Thanks again

There was a thread on here about this topic.

My understanding is that the owner as of 1st November is legally liable. However, the Law Society issued an “instruction” to members about getting buyers to cough up.

When is the law the law?

Pill told the vendors that they were the liable persons at the valution date and that I was exempt, so remove the fucking clause from the contract. I wasn’t interested in what the Law Soc had to say. Vendors agreed and Pill is happy. 8DD

LPT for a 1M house is 1755
Motor Tax for a (pre-08) 3l car is 1809
There’s none of this arsing around motor tax.