Specific performance is an essential cause of action for real estate contract disputes. Specific performance is a court order requiring a party to perform the specific act they agreed to do under the contract.
Generally, when a party does not comply with a contract, the court orders them to pay money as damages. Monetary damages are generally the easiest way to resolve contract disputes, and therefore are the preferred remedy for breach of contract cases.
Money, however, isn’t a good resolution for all contract disputes. This is the case where the subject of the contract was of particular importance for the agreement. For example, if you entered into a contract to buy Bruce Springsteen’s first guitar, you probably aren’t looking for just money as damages; you want this unique item that you contracted for. In such a case, specific performance is the relief you want: a court order that you get the guitar in exchange for the money you offered to pay. To make a claim of specific performance, you need to show that the requested relief is particularly unique. For example, a court will likely not award specific performance for a consumer product that is readily available, such as a laptop computer.
Fortunately, for real estate contract disputes, specific performance is almost always available as a remedy. Courts generally consider real property as unique, making specific performance readily available as an option in such a dispute.
Pursuing a real estate contract dispute and seeking specific performance as a remedy requires careful planning and strategy. If you find yourself in such a scenario, contact me for a consultation.