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NSW Am I Obligated to Sell Car?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Andre Halkyard, 6 September 2016.

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  1. Andre Halkyard

    6 September 2016
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    With a change of circumstance, I decided that I would sell my vehicle. An interested party put down a deposit.

    Following this, I gave the interested party a signed deposit with the following:

    I, XXX confirm that I have received $300 AUD from XXX as a partial

    deposit as part of a due diligence process for the sale and purchase of a 2015 Landrover Defender

    I now no longer want to sell this car and was going to refund the interested party their money. The interested party has said that as I have entered into a 'contract' with them, I am obligated to complete the sale.

    Is this correct, and do I have to complete the sale?

    Thank you
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    27 May 2014
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    The other party has an out (ie contract subject to due diligence), not sure you do, but it does depend on what was said at the time of making the sale/conditions. If all the terms of the sale were clear (price, conditions, financing etc) then you probably are obligated. If something important is unclear, then you may be able to avoid the contract and withdraw the offer.

    Alternative is non-legal. Return deposit and tell buyer to go away.
  3. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

    9 April 2014
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    Technically, yes you are bound by the contract of sale that you have entered into. However if you refund the deposit, the other party's only option to enforce the sale is to apply to the court for an order for "specific performance".

    This is where the court orders that you do something, as opposed to simply paying money. The most common reason courts grant specific performance is that the subject of the contract is unique, when it's not merely a matter of money or where the true amount of damages is unclear.

    It really depends how much the person wants the vehicle and whether they are prepared to take you to court over it.
  4. DMQC

    DMQC Well-Known Member

    29 June 2016
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    No, the deposit does not result in a binding contract between you and the buyer (providing the only written evidence is what you have detailed above). I see many avenues, some ethical, some not so ethical, that would see this buyer disappear -

    1. As stated by Victoria, give them their deposit and play the waiting game to see what, if any, action they take - I can assure you there is no self-respecting solicitor that would take this case on from what you have stated above.

    2. I assume there is no written evidence of the price for which the vehicle was to be sold when they paid the deposit? If this is correct, tell the buyer that the price is now $100,000,000.00 + Stamp Duty - should see him/her disappear quick smart.

    3. The vehicle might somehow be missing some tyres, a battery and the front passenger seat since the deposit was paid. I am sure they would rather a refund than to press ahead with the sale if that were the case.

    Be creative, the buyer is misleading you by claiming you are in a binding contract when you're not, so fight fire with fire I say.

    Good luck, let us know how you go.

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