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Specific Performance in Real Estate Law


Schorr Law has significant experience representing its commercial and residential real estate clients with specific performance matters.

What is Specific Performance?

Specific performance is a common remedy for a failed purchase and sale of real property. By initiating a specific performance cause of action, the buyer or seller of real property asks the court to compel the other party to perform its contractual obligation to either buy or sell the property. In other words, the plaintiff will seek the equitable remedy of specific performance based on the underlying cause of action for breach of the purchase and sale agreement (breach of contract).

These lawsuits are a common remedy pursued for both commercial real estate and residential real estate. In the commercial litigation context, the lawsuit may be based on the failure of a seller to honor an option to purchase leased property or simply a failed purchase transaction. In the residential context, a plaintiff often commences such an action after the escrow for a property does not close.

Specific performance is commonly pursued in connection with real estate disputes. Because of the unique nature of real property, it often provides the best remedy for a plaintiff who desires to purchase a particular piece of real property.

In these cases, when we represent the buyer, we always recommend recording a lis pendens (notice of pendency of action) to ensure that the seller does not sell or otherwise dispose of the subject property while the lawsuit is still pending.

Representative Matters

Examples of some of the specific performance matters the attorneys at Schorr Law have handled include:

  • A specific performance lawsuit on behalf of a large public company to enforce a lease option to purchase a multimillion dollar commercial piece of real property in Commerce, California where the property had substantially increased in value;
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of client in defense of a specific performance lawsuit involving alleged broker fraud and buyer non-performance in connection with the sale of a large apartment building in Los Angeles, California.
  • Successfully forced the sale of residential real property on behalf of buyer on many occasions where seller attempted to back out of the transaction based on a change of circumstances, increase in price or for no reason at all.
  • The defense of specific performance lawsuits involving the sale of residential real property;
  • Successful defense of a specific performance lawsuit arising out of the sale of a liquor store;
  • Successful defense of a specific performance lawsuit involving the primary residence of an elderly client who did not understand the terms of the purported purchase agreement. Schorr Law was able to convince the plaintiff to drop the lawsuit after Schorr Law filed a motion for summary judgment.
  • Counseling numerous sellers on how to cancel escrow without being subject to a specific performance lawsuit based on terms of purchase and sale agreement.

Specific Performance Blogs

The Difference Between Quiet Title, Easements, and Adverse Possession

The Difference Between Quiet Title, Easements, and Adverse Possession

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Specific Performance – Why a Lis Pendens is Important

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3 Opciones Cuando un Vendedor de Casa Quiere Salir de Contrato

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