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How to Settle Purchase and Sale Disputes: An Interview with John R. Grier of The Grier Law Firm

By John Grier

Tell us a little bit about your firm and the areas of law that you practice.

The Firm was founded by John R. Grier in 2009 and specializes in real estate law. Our focus is in the areas of lending, purchases and sales and leasing. Mr. Grier has over 21 years of real estate law experience, including 14 years at Winston & Strawn LLP and 2 years at Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP. As a student of the University of Iowa Law School, Mr. Grier graduated with high honors and was a member of the University of Iowa Law Review. He is a frequent speaker and author of numerous articles and treatises, including the chapter on Long-Term Financing in the Illinois Institute For Continuing Legal Education's treatise on Financing Real Estate Transactions. He is a member of the Chicago Mortgage Attorneys Association and the Illinois State Bar Association. The Firm is located at 1000 Hillgrove Avenue, Suite 250, Western Springs, IL 60558. www.thegrierlawfirm.com.

What are the most common purchase and sale disputes that you've handled for people in this area?

Disputes over the return of earnest money and failure to close.

Can you explain what a breach of contract in a home purchase/sale is?

A breach of contract in a home purchase/sale is the failure of the buyer or seller to perform a duty imposed on it under the contract or the making of a false representation or warranty in the contract or related documents.

What are the basic legal steps involved in these types of disputes?

a. Identifying if the duty existed and/ representation and warranty was made.
b. Determining if the duty was not performed or the representation and warranty was untrue and your client did not know it was untrue.
c. Providing notice to the other party of the failure and, to the extent provided in the contract, an opportunity to cure.
d. If uncured, pursuing the appropriate remedy (retaining earnest money, claim for damages, termination of contract, etc.)

Is there anything a buyer or seller can do prior to the purchase and sale agreement to help avoid a dispute?

Make sure the contract fully reflects the parties agreement. Review all representations and warranties to make sure they are accurate. Retain an attorney early in the process.

What advice would you give to homeowners who discover the seller intentionally misrepresented a major defect in their new house?

Consult with an attorney.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your firm?

Visit our website at www.thegrierlawfirm.com or by phone at 708-784-9617.

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