In the recent case of Oliver v. Ball, 136 A.3d 162 (Pa. Super. 2016), the Superior Court ruled in favor of a buyer when the seller backed out of the sale.
The buyer and seller agreed to the sale of a 71-acre parcel. When the seller later refused to complete the sale, the buyer filed a lawsuit asking for a court order granting him the property, rather than an award of money damages. The court explained that money damages are the typical remedy for a breach of contract, but there can be an award of “specific performance” where the contract involves a unique type of item that could not be adequately compensated with money.
The buyer argued that the value of this property could not be measured in dollars because he would not be able to develop another parcel in the same manner. The court analyzed the details of the property – including its close proximity to the buyer’s other properties, the terrain, water features and mineral rights. Based on these features, the court concluded that the buyer would not be adequately compensated through an award of money. Therefore, the buyer was entitled to possession of the land.
If you are in need of assistance with a real estate transaction, please call our attorneys at 724-349-6768 for individual legal advice.