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Discussion Starter #1
Offered accepted and signed contract on Mar 5, 2020
Deposit submitted to the company of seller's realtor on the next day.
Informed landlord to vacant the house at the end of the month.
Inspection completed on Mar 10, 2020 and started negotiation for defectives. Seller offer little bit of cash compensation and would repair some minor works.
We accepted seller's offer for defectives on the Condition day of Mar 16, 2020 at 5PM. Condition removal time is at 9PM.
Now seller is not willing to offer cash compensation and repair minor works as they have received a higher offer. I am interested to buy the house with those compensation.

If the seller doesn't agree, can I sue the seller for mental, emotional and financial distress in the civil court? Please advise.
 

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No. I mean you can sue, but you won't win. Seller is under no obligation to repair anything or compensate you for anything uncovered by the inspection.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Seller has offered us those repair and compensation by email and we accepted it and then amendment the condition. Now the seller is backing out. I spent money for inspection and a lot of time. Doesn't have any value for my time and money?
 

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I'm still unclear on how seller is backing out of the deal. You have a sale agreement, conditional upon inspection, right? The inspection uncovered problems, so you can either remove the inspection clause and buy the house anyways, or you can back out of the purchase. The choice is yours, not the seller's. If you want to proceed with the purchase, he HAS to sell you the house (though he's under no obligation to compensate you for any problems found by the inspection). Since you say the seller is the one who is backing out, there must be additional details that you haven't explained, eg you cancelled the deal first.
 

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Seller has offered us those repair and compensation by email and we accepted it and then amendment the condition. Now the seller is backing out. I spent money for inspection and a lot of time. Doesn't have any value for my time and money?
If it's all written down, and happened in the order you say, it seems like it's an unconditional deal as of 5pm and they can't back out.
 

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Your post is a bit fuzzy, perhaps because English is not your first language (just a guess in that regard). Not sure what province you are in (I suppose everyone here but me knows without being told).

Anyway, as I apprehend the facts from the rather opaque rendition, the time for removal of subject clauses was March 19 at 9 p.m. Before that, you got the vendor to agree to offer some "compensation", or an abatement of the purchase price, in light of certain deficiencies revealed by an inspection. Apparently, the vendor also agreed to perform certain repairs (I would hope there was an agreed time for repairs). So, were these terms made a written addendum to the contract of purchase and sale? If not, I would say forget about them. If yes, you have an action for breach of contract. You may sue for damages. The quantum of damages will be the value of the agreed compensation and value of the work to be performed. The best way to quantify it is to close the deal and hire the work done. You may then sue for that cost.

Forget about suing for emotional distress etc. Silly to even think about. This is just a simple business deal gone awry. Happens many times every day. Courts don't hand out such awards for breach of contract simpliciter on a regular basis.

As an aside, maybe you should be happy and let the vendor sell to someone else. With the world nuttiness about C-19, we might be facing a new world order. RE, stocks, etc., will be worth nothing. Now gold, that's different. It's immune to disease, is packed with nutrients and will no doubt ward off infection.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm still unclear on how seller is backing out of the deal. You have a sale agreement, conditional upon inspection, right? The inspection uncovered problems, so you can either remove the inspection clause and buy the house anyways, or you can back out of the purchase. The choice is yours, not the seller's. If you want to proceed with the purchase, he HAS to sell you the house (though he's under no obligation to compensate you for any problems found by the inspection). Since you say the seller is the one who is backing out, there must be additional details that you haven't explained, eg you cancelled the deal first.
We never cancelled the deal. The condition removal date is Mar 16 at 9 PM and we sent the amendment at 5PM. The seller has changed her mind as she has received a better offer. She has counter offered that if we want the house then we can take it without any compensation for defectives. We have email communication from the seller's realtor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Your post is a bit fuzzy, perhaps because English is not your first language (just a guess in that regard). Not sure what province you are in (I suppose everyone here but me knows without being told).

Anyway, as I apprehend the facts from the rather opaque rendition, the time for removal of subject clauses was March 19 at 9 p.m. Before that, you got the vendor to agree to offer some "compensation", or an abatement of the purchase price, in light of certain deficiencies revealed by an inspection. Apparently, the vendor also agreed to perform certain repairs (I would hope there was an agreed time for repairs). So, were these terms made a written addendum to the contract of purchase and sale? If not, I would say forget about them. If yes, you have an action for breach of contract. You may sue for damages. The quantum of damages will be the value of the agreed compensation and value of the work to be performed. The best way to quantify it is to close the deal and hire the work done. You may then sue for that cost.

Forget about suing for emotional distress etc. Silly to even think about. This is just a simple business deal gone awry. Happens many times every day. Courts don't hand out such awards for breach of contract simpliciter on a regular basis.

As an aside, maybe you should be happy and let the vendor sell to someone else. With the world nuttiness about C-19, we might be facing a new world order. RE, stocks, etc., will be worth nothing. Now gold, that's different. It's immune to disease, is packed with nutrients and will no doubt ward off infection.
Sorry, English is my second language and I live in AB. The wanted to complete the repair before possession date contingent to weather condition. We have submitted an amendment based on the negotiations. However, the seller didn't sign it as she has received a better offer and counter offered us to take it as is and we won't get any compensations for repairs. I spent around $400 inspection and a lot of time to get mortgage approval. In the meantime, I have informed my landlord that I will vacant the place at the end of this month.

I am thinking to go to the small claim court. At the end, we accepted what the seller offered but the seller has changed her mind at the last minute.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If it's all written down, and happened in the order you say, it seems like it's an unconditional deal as of 5pm and they can't back out.
Yes, we are communicating with the realtor of seller by email and text messages and we have kept it as evidence. How much compensation should we be seeking? We were really excited as a first time home buyer. Now very upset...
 

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Yes, it might make sense to go to small claims. Don't ask for mental distress or such damages. You will lose credibility. Just present a good case for out-of-pocket costs, etc. That can extend to costs of you having to leave your present rental premises and renting elsewhere, when you expected to have the house to move into.

I am less sure of AB law, but probably similar to BC. You could block the sale by commencing an action in the Court of Queen's Bench and filing a lis pendens (or certificate of pending litigation) against the property and seek the remedy of specific performance, i.e., an order forcing a sale to you, as agreed. It depends on how strongly you feel about the particular property. A small claims action won't allow you to file a lis pendens small claims cannot grant the remedy of specific performance, only damages. Until recent times, BC courts were reluctant to grant specific performance unless you could show that the property was somehow unique and you could not readily find somehting similar in the marketplace. But that strict view has softened and vendors in default are now more commonly held to their bargains.

And, don't be sorry about my petty complaint about your English. It's not bad at all, but for legal matters, perhaps suffers from a certain lack of precision. I am sure your English is a lot better than my facility in your native tongue.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The realtor of seller forwarded us the following email on Mar 13, 2020 without the seller's contact info.

“Based on the estimates we’ve received, the listed issues would not cost $10,000.00. In addition, evaporative humidifiers can operate with hot, cold, hard, or soft water. Hot water is preferred as it supplements the heat from the HVAC system heat call to increase the evaporation rate.

We will compensate the buyer $XXX.00 based on the Buyers agents estimates (which are above what we’ve been quoted) to fix the vertical crack on the foundation wall ($XX.00), closing the electrical box inside the garage ($XX.00), and fixing the washing machine drain line ($XXX.00). The additional $XXX.00 of compensation can be used to cover the “other minor jobs” requested by the Buyer.

We will fix the walks and steps in the front and wooden steps to side door.

We will not compensate for repairing the connection line for the humidifier (see above), or compensate for the other cosmetic issues clearly visible during viewing and negotiation, as well as discussed by you with their realtor.

Overall, we are fixing and/or compensating the Buyer for 7 of the 10 issues.”

After that, we have tried to get more but that was their final offer. We have accepted the offer on the condition day at 5PM and sent it to their realtor for the seller's signature. The realtor came back with the following reply -

"Hi XXX. I'm very sorry. But the seller has made up her mind. She was actually very frustrated last night by the negotiations and was having second thoughts, as I mentioned in our text. But now the potential for new buyers has her convinced she will not offer any concessions. I understand that your buyers have spent the last couple days trying to get a few more thousand dollars to repair the items. But now she has the opportunity to sell the home for more money and is choosing that option."
 

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Please understand scorpion that I have not seen all of the paperwork, emails, etc., and I am not wholly familiar with Alberta law (which I think is very similar to that here in BC in real estate matters).

With that caveat, it seems to me that you made an offer, subject to inspection. With the inspection in hand, you indicated that you would not lift the subject clauses without some concession with respect to repairs. Then the vendor, through the vendor's agent, made, in effect, a counter-offer to sell with some, but not all, concessions agreed. You communicated your acceptance within the time allowed - before 9 that night. The contract became final and binding at that point. If the vendors sells to someone else, that's a breach of contract. In fact, the vendor is already in breach, putting you on notice that the property will be sold to someone else. That is what lawyers call an "anticipatory breach".
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Please understand scorpion that I have not seen all of the paperwork, emails, etc., and I am not wholly familiar with Alberta law (which I think is very similar to that here in BC in real estate matters).

With that caveat, it seems to me that you made an offer, subject to inspection. With the inspection in hand, you indicated that you would not lift the subject clauses without some concession with respect to repairs. Then the vendor, through the vendor's agent, made, in effect, a counter-offer to sell with some, but not all, concessions agreed. You communicated your acceptance within the time allowed - before 9 that night. The contract became final and binding at that point. If the vendors sells to someone else, that's a breach of contract. In fact, the vendor is already in breach, putting you on notice that the property will be sold to someone else. That is what lawyers call an "anticipatory breach".
If you were in my position, how much would you be seeking for compensation in small claim court?
 

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If you were in my position, how much would you be seeking for compensation in small claim court?
Hard to say, but here's what the court will look at:

First, you now have a choice of whether to accept the vendor's repudiation of the contract and sue for damages or sue for specific performance. Assuming you elect damages, you should put the vendor on notice that you will seek damages. You will be expected to "mitigate" your damages, by acting reasonably in response to the breach. That means, for example, that you cannot move into new rental premises, sit there for a year, buy a similar property at a higher price next year and sue for all the rent paid, moving costs, etc., plus the difference between the price at which the vendor agreed to sell and the price you end up paying.

One simple way to measure your damages would be this. Let's say the vendor agreed to sell to you for for $500,000, then breached the contract and sold to someone else for $550,000. If, through appraisal or similar evidence you could show that it would cost you $550,000 to go out into the marketplace and buy a similar property, then the measure of your damages would be $50,000 ($15,000 above the monetary jurisdiction of the small claims court here in BC). Plus you could claim costs thrown away, such as costs of an interim move, etc.

It is also the case that in BC (probably AB too), you may sue for specific performance and damages in the alternative and wait until trial to make your election.
 

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I just took a quick look online and it appears that the monetary jurisdiction of AB small claims court is $50k. Even if only $35K, I would probably elect to proceed in that forum. To sue in a superior court is more tthan you want to get into. Darn near impossible to do without a lawyer and, with a lawyer, even a $100,000 win won't put much in your pocket at the end of the day. In small claims you can go in in your jeans and your T-shirt and say, "Hey. your Honour, this guy screwed me" kinda' thing. That informal approach would be met with some opprobrium in the more lofty atmosphere that prevails in the higher courts.

Better to go to small claims and, in your written pleadings, set out the full amount of your claim. If it adds up to $70,000, then say say you are waiving the excess to attorn to the jurisdiction of the court, meaning you will accept judgment for $50,000 even though you might be able to prove a larger amount of damages.

I might not get back to this thread for a bit. Carrying on a Messenger conversation with a friend in the Philippines at the same time as this. I have to focus on that for awhile, getting more intense. My Filipino friend was supposed to come here, but, of course, denied a tourist visa by Canadian immigration. I was then supposed to go there in 2 weeks, but covid has put paid to that. Too bad my friend cannot find his way to Roxham Road, and get the red carpet entry. But then, he's probably too well-educated and too self-sufficient to be seen as desirable. He would probably be shot.
 

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Sorry but this is absurd, the advice you are giving him about going to court is just going to waste his time (and probably money) and is not going to result in any payout.

OP is acting on his emotions and not thinking logically, he is angry at the sellers and wants to punish them. He has not demonstrated that he has suffered any financial loss (other than paying for the inspection, but I doubt he can get compensation for that).

The email from the seller agent about fixing the defects will not be seen by the court as a breach of contract.

I am not a lawyer so maybe I am wrong, but my experience tells me this is not worth pursuing.
 

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Sorry but this is absurd, the advice you are giving him about going to court is just going to waste his time (and probably money) and is not going to result in any payout.

OP is acting on his emotions and not thinking logically, he is angry at the sellers and wants to punish them. He has not demonstrated that he has suffered any financial loss (other than paying for the inspection, but I doubt he can get compensation for that).

The email from the seller agent about fixing the defects will not be seen by the court as a breach of contract.

I am not a lawyer so maybe I am wrong, but my experience tells me this is not worth pursuing.
Disagree. He definitely would win, this is a clear breach of contract. Best case scenario is he wins the small claims of 50K or whatever it is, and then prices drop and he gets a better deal.

But there must be a sign of loss, and if prices are dropping, which they most likely will be, then it might be hard to show a loss at least on the purchase price. Maybe on moving costs, extra rent or whatever.
 

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Sorry but this is absurd, the advice you are giving him about going to court is just going to waste his time (and probably money) and is not going to result in any payout.

OP is acting on his emotions and not thinking logically, he is angry at the sellers and wants to punish them. He has not demonstrated that he has suffered any financial loss (other than paying for the inspection, but I doubt he can get compensation for that).

The email from the seller agent about fixing the defects will not be seen by the court as a breach of contract.

I am not a lawyer so maybe I am wrong, but my experience tells me this is not worth pursuing.
Not sure what renders that "absurd". As nobleea says, we have a clear breach of contract. On the strength of having a deal, the OP gave notice that he will vacate his rental premises. Perhaps he can beg the landlord to let him stay and that might be permitted if the L/L has not already entered a tenancy agreement with someone else. So the expense of an unnecessary move sounds in significant damages right there. So does the fact that the vendor chose to breach the contract when offered more money. That, right there, suggests that part of the quantum of damages would be the difference between the price at which the vendor agreed to sell to the OP and the price obtained from the new purchaser.

In BC, the innocent purchaser would be allowed to ask for damages to be assessed as of the date of the breach, so that would suggest that the OP should recover the difference between what he agreed to pay and what the vendor got. That, and other damages assessment issues are discussed in a recent BC case, cited below. The BC case cited also awards damages for rental costs incurred after the date when the jilted purchaser should have been living in the house. The purchaser was awarded damages of $229,526. Of course, maybe the judgment cited is "absurd". I suppose absurdity is in the eye of the beholder.

Sun v. Kang, 2019 BCSC 1016

https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/19/10/2019BCSC1016.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I was browsing online and found that I need to provide the seller a demand letter. Since I am planning to go to the small claim court in Calgary, I am thinking to write it by myself or should I find a lawyer? I think most of the real estate lawyers are good for completing the transactions but this is a breach of contracts....Really upset now..already started to pack our stuff in the last two weeks.

Any step by step guidance will be highly appreciated.
 

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I am not sure I would go so far as to say that you "need to provide the seller a demand letter", I did say in post #14 above: "Assuming you elect damages, you should put the vendor on notice that you will seek damages." So, generally a good idea. Although it's generally held that issuing and serving the writ serves as pretty good notice of what you are thinking.

As for doing it yourself, maybe, with a bit of help. You are right about most real estate lawyers being competent conveyancers but most do not take on real estate litigation. Litigation has become too complex for lawyers to dabble in it. Not like the old days of the general practitioner who would take on anything. Not really possible any longer. So you will need someone who does litigation and, preferably, someone who has engaged in real estate-related litigation. But you are probably looking at about $400 an hour.

I expect AB is like BC and the small claims court is intended to the "the people's court" and it discourages lawyers from attending. Hence, in BC, no legal costs may be recovered by the successful party. But you might want to retain counsel to get you started, maybe by way of the demand letter and preparing the docs to start your claim, as well as giving a bit of initial advice. Your proposed litigation is not really complicated - a fairly straightforward breach of contract case with damages not really difficult to quantify. You should check at the outset if the court may hear a case for breach of K for sale of land. It should be easy to find on a court website. Here in BC, as I recall, the small claims court can hear such a case, but it cannot grant a decree of specific performance. That's not what you want anyway. You should also find online some guidance about commencing and prosecuting your action. As I said, the scc is geared to being a court for non-lawyers.
 
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