Resolving real estate transaction disputes

On Behalf of Dunlap Fiore, LLC |

Louisiana residents commonly enter into contracts involving real estate. And while these are one of the most common legal transactions performed nationwide, they can also easily become one of the most complex that an individual could enter into. While these contracts can appear straightforward, issues often present themselves, leading to a contract dispute.

When a contract dispute emerges in a real estate contract, it is important to understand how to address these disputes. In most matters, parties to the agreement seek to enforce the terms of the contract; therefore, those seeking to enforce a real estate contract should understand how to address these disputes so the original contract could remain in effect.

There are three common contract disputes that could occur in real estate transactions. The first is breach of duty. Most commonly, specific performance is sought in these disputes. This occurs when a seller sues the buyer in an attempt to force the buyer to follow through with the exact terms of the original agreement. However, if a buyer is able to prove that he or she does not have the money required to close the sale, it is likely that the courts will not force the buyer to meet the standards of specific performance.

If a buyer claims that a default was committed on their part due to a misunderstanding on the agreement, that party could seek reformation. Only the buyer can only initiate this, and this method seeks to address any misunderstandings of the contract by the buyer while attempting to keep as many of the original terms of the agreement.

Lastly, many disputes in real estate transactions involve fiduciary duty. These are commonly brought against real estate agents or brokers for alleged fraud or misrepresentation that resulted in distress for the buyer. In most cases, this means that they failed to disclose latent defects. If it is discovered that a realtor hid defects, claiming there were none, a buyer could have the contract rescinded and any money paid returned to him or her.

While real estate transactions can occur without errors or disputes, it is important to understand that these transactions are not perfect and contract disputes could emerge in the process. A real estate attorney could help buyers and sellers understand their situation and ways to resolve any disputes that might come up.

Source:, “Understanding the Legal Ramifications Involved in a Real Estate Dispute,” Aug. 6, 2015