Buyer jilted at the Alter… the closing alter that is


I know it is not quite as earth shattering as being left at the wedding alter but it can be quite complicated and feelings and bank accounts are hurt all the same. If you read my blog you know that I try to talk about things that are happening in our office or at least in our Real Estate community so I can get it off my chest…… but also as a way to hear from wiser more amazing agents and people out there.

I was just involved with a deal where the buyer had performed all of his duties, his money is ready, inspections are done and in spite of low appraisal the buyer is ready to follow through with his nuptials and low and behold the seller gets cold feet. The seller hinted that he had lost that loving feeling and afraid of following through but even though all indicators were that he would be honorable… it was not to be.

So what in the world is the buyer to do? Does he have any remedies to at least get his money that he is out much less not being able to find a home comparable to the home that got away. It is very difficult in Florida to make a person sell his home if he does not wish to even if he is contractually obligated. That one is hard to believe!!! But the seller can sue in certain circumstances for Specific Performance.

To obtain specific performance, the purchaser must show that he or she was ready and able to perform at the closing. Specific performance may be granted where there is reasonable certainty as to what was intended in the contract and the meaning of the contract, taken as a whole, is understandable to the court. In order for a contract to be subject to specific performance, the contract must reflect that the obligations of the parties with respect to conditions of the contract and actions to be taken by the parties are clear, definite and certain. If the agreement is definite in all of its essential elements, specific performance can be granted.

“Essential elements” of the contract typically would be the purchase price, deposit amount, down payment amount, legal description of the property, financing terms, closing date and effective time period of the contract. It also could include an inventory of property on the premises that is to be included with the real property, specific conditions for sale, assignment of the contract to a third-party and terms for refinancing, particularly where the seller is holding the mortgage.

If the buyer seeks specific performance, he or she must remain ready to perform his or her obligations under the contract while the lawsuit is pending. Specific performance involves problems of proving contract certainty and reasonableness that are not involved in a lawsuit for damages.

It is also possible that the buyer could seek damages for the money that they spent to acquire the home such as inspections, appraisal and loan processing to name a few. With all the talk about repercussion what about the earned sales commission? (We will play with that one next week)

AS I have warned before I am not an attorney and I do not play one of TV or in the press so please consult an attorney if you find yourself in this precarious position. Thankfully this does not happen often but when it does keep a cool head, contact an attorney and weigh your options.

I would love to hear from my fellow agents and others that may have found themselves in this circumstance. Please change the names to protect the innocent and the NOT so innocent. Until next week, Please remember that, “The only people we have to get even with are those that have helped us”

Holy Sanctuary Secret – The Beach Show’s Amazing Homes This Week

Holy cow, this week on The Beach Show we have some really amazing homes in a super secret and super charming area, Sanctuary Beach.  This area was originally envisioned as a high-end coastal craftsman community and some of the homes that were developed are on the foreclosure block at drop-dead amazing prices.

You have to check out these homes.

The Beach Show – 132

Show notes.

Hot Deal 1

  • Foreclosure for $208k
  • 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms at 2516 sf
  • Less than half block from the beach
  • Gulf views from the balcony

Hot Deal 2

  • Just reduced to $221,500!
  • Tons of cute character and charm
  • 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms completely updated
  • Beautiful kitchen with grant countertops
  • Manicured yard, one street off of Front Beach Road

Hot Deal 3

  • Gulf front town house for $649,900
  • 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms at 2846 sf
  • Incredible deck and entertaining space
  • Adjacent to dedicated beach


The Beach Show – Episode 127

First, let me be the first to welcome The Beach Show back to  This was where it was founded and it’s glad to have it back home.

The Beach Show is part of our Real Estate category where we talk a bit about real estate in the Panama City Beach area. This post originally appeared on The Beach Show which airs a new episode of super hot real estate deals each week.

Will Gulf Front Condo Prices Continue to Fall?

Is the Gulf Front Condo Market at the Bottom?

As a real estate professional who specializes in Gulf Front Condos in Panama City Beach, I get asked all the time for my opinions about the current marketAre condo prices going to drop anymore?   When are prices going to start going back up?   Are short sales and foreclosures still dominating the market?  Should I buy now or wait a little longer?

In my opinion, I think now is a great time to buy.  I know what you’re thinking.  “Of course he’s going to say ‘buy now’, he’s a real estate agent and he just wants to make a sale.”  Not so fast, I like to base my opinions on facts and not just good old fashioned optimism.  So here are the facts.

The Bay County Multiple Listing Service (MLS) shows that there were 44 gulf front condos in Panama City Beach sold in January of 2011.  In Jan. of 2012 that number was up to 47.  It’s a slight increase of almost 7% I know, but let’s look a little deeper.  The average sales price in Jan. of 2011 was $183,509.  In Jan. of 2012 the average was $217,436.  That’s nearly a 20% increase in sale price in just one year.

Are you thinking that 2012’s average sales price must have been skewed by the sale of a huge, really high priced penthouse?  Think again. The highest priced sale in Jan. 2011 was $600,000.  The highest priced sale in Jan. 2012 was $540,000.  Even if that weren’t the case, we can level the playing field by looking at the average price per square foot.  In Jan. 2011 this was $164.27/Sq.Ft. In Jan. 2012 it was $183.93/Sq.Ft. That’s a 12% increase.

Are foreclosures and short sales still dominating the market?  Yes and no.  In Jan. 2012, 36% of sales were either foreclosures or short sales.  While that’s still a considerable percentage, it’s actually down from 45.5% in Jan. 2011.   If you are the type of person that likes to see these numbers in a neat and clean format (like me) here’s a handy table.

Gulf Front Condo Sales Comparison
January 2011 vs. January 2012

Jan. 2011 Jan. 2012 % Change
Total Sales 44 47 6.82%
Average Price $183,509 $217,436 18.49%
Average Price / Sq.Ft. $164.27 $183.93 11.97%
% Foreclosure/Short Sale 45.50% 36% -20.88%
Listing $ vs. Sold $ Variance -7.85% -4.48% -42.93%

The bottom line is that nobody has a crystal ball.  Any investment carries inherent risk.  The savvy investor looks at the big picture.  Does the picture of today’s condo market in Panama City Beach look like we’re at a snow capped peak or are we somewhere near the bottom in the foothills?

If you are interested in finding out more about Gulf Front Condos in Panama City Beach, please contact me, Opey Russ Broker-Associate at Beach Beach Real Estate, at 850-699-1996.

Market Update – Recovery? What Recovery?

This post originally appeared on’s blog.  For more information about real estate in Panama City Beach, current market conditions, and other things happening in real estate locally, you should check it out.

Each month we hear stories about how the real estate market in Panama City Beach is bottoming. We are continually told that it is ready to bounce back at any time. How much longer are we going to listen to this while watching prices drop quarter after quarter? Potential buyers should not be focusing on the overall market. They should instead be looking at the specific condominiums they are interested in. On the whole, the real estate condominium market in Panama City Beach continues to fall. The average price per square foot of a 700 square foot or larger gulf front one-bedroom condo has dropped another $18 per square foot during the first quarter of 2011. These dropping rates do not indicate that the market, as a whole, is bottoming. A large number of floor plans and buildings across the beach are showing no signs whatsoever of bottoming.

Continue reading “Market Update – Recovery? What Recovery?”

Gulf Front 3 Bedroom for Less Than $250k

The Beach Show is part of our Real Estate category where we talk a bit about real estate in the Panama City Beach area. This post originally appeared on The Beach Show which airs a new episode of super hot real estate deals each Wednesday morning.

You know, it never ceases to amaze me the kinds of real estate deals you can find out there.  This is definitely a buyer’s market.  A buddy of mine just closed on a fantastic little beach cottage in Laguna Beach for less than $60k – bank owned, one block from the beach.  The place is already rented, he had to do nothing to it!  Instant positive cash-flow is what it’s all about.

You may be a Realtor, you may be working with a Realtor, or you may not and still be looking to buy something.  But, you’ve got to keep an eye on these girls, they’re always coming up with some great deals.  And if you have the cash and good credit to be buying right now, that’s exactly what you should be doing.