Friday, May 24, 2019
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Following are Law Cases that impact the real estate buyer and seller.

Legal Decisions   Legal Decissions

Case #1  McCarthy vs. Tobin

    In a decision written be Justice Ruth I. Abrams, the SJC has held that an "offer to purchase" form signed by a buyer and seller of real estate, created a binding contract even though it referenced a subsequent P&S agreement.

    Sellers seeking to abandon their obligations argued that contemplation of the P&S infers that the parties did not intend to be bound by the "offer" form.

    The SJC disagreed.

    Justice Abrams... "If the parties have agreed on all material terms, it may be inferred that the purpose of the final document ... (the completed P&S) ... is to serve as a polished memorandum of an already binding contract"

Case #2  Kelly, et al. vs. Marx, et al.

    The SJC has ruled that a liquidated damages clause in a purchase and sale agreement will be enforced where, at the time the agreement was made, potential damages were difficult to determine and the clause was a reasonable forecast of damages expected to occur in the event of breach.  Earlier, the Appeals Court had ruled that in the absence of damages, there could be no "liquidated" damages.  The SJC felt that the Appellate Courtīs approach was too complicated and required a cumbersome "second look".

Case #3  Mervis, et al. vs. Elm Street Realty Trust, et al.

    The Appellate Court has ruled that buyers could recover their deposit from sellers under the finance contingence clause in a P&S agreement, where (1) a bank offered the plaintiffs home financing with "unduly onerous" conditions and (2) the buyers consequently rejected the bankīs offer.  The Court reasoned that buyers must accept a commitment as long as the loan terms are "commercially reasonable".  Here the terms which required the buyers to change their plans to sell their home, and instead to lease it, were "unduly onerous".  Also, the terms even if reasonable, could not have been carried out in time.

Case #4  Capodilupo vs. Vozzela

    Despite the traditional view that land is unique, and that registered land has greater protection than unregistered land, the Appellate Court has found an exceptional situation.  The Court has ruled that the encroachment of two walls, one of 4.8 inches and the other of 3.6 inches, is "de minimus", and that therefore, the walls need not be removed.

Case #5  Wilcox vs. Trautz

    Agreements for unmarried cohabitants are critical since such couples donīt enjoy equitable fairness.  Agreements between cohabitants must conform to the ordinary rules of contract law and are not entitled to considerations of "fairness" applicable to agreements between married couples.