What happens when one party fails to fulfill their obligations as outlined in a contract?

When a party fails or refuses to perform to the terms of an agreement, that party has likely “breached” the contract. In Oklahoma, someone who has suffered the breach of contract of another party may have the ability to remedy the matter in court using a claim known as “specific performance.”

What is Specific Performance?

At a very basic level, specific performance is a type of legal claim which can be argued in court. There is almost always one specific goal of asserting a claim for specific performance: to obtain a court order that compels a party to perform their obligations as specified in a contract. The aim is to conclude the breach and require participation.

This claim is often only available after one party to a contract has breached the terms of the agreement.

When is specific performance helpful?

A claim for specific performance can be most effective when a financial or monetary remedy, such as payment or compensation, is inadequate to address the issue. This claim is often raised alongside additional claims for payment or financial losses resulting from a breach of contract, but specific performance is targeted at enforcing the actual terms of the agreement.

Specific performance claims can be extremely useful in many contexts, including commercial real estate transactions, residential real estate transactions, business equity deals, and more.

Specific performance is generally not an available claim in personal services agreement situations, or where the terms of the agreement are not sufficiently clear or complete.

Specific Performance in Oklahoma Residential Real Estate Transactions

Specific performance is most frequently raised in a residential real estate transaction dispute in Oklahoma. In fact, the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission’s (OREC) standard residential purchase and sale agreement form expressly mentions specific performance as an available remedy to aggrieved parties.

All real estate is treated as unique in Oklahoma law. Because of that stance, a contracted buyer may be able to force the contracted seller to close the agreed transaction using the claim of specific performance, even if the seller has since changed their mind about selling or refuses to finalize the deal.

Alternatively, sellers may also request that the buyer show up to closing with funding and ability to conclude the transaction. However, judges throughout Oklahoma are less likely to grant an award for specific performance to a real estate seller. Their theory is that the seller can turn around and re-list the property and has only lost modest time and money, if any. This means that financial damages would be sufficient to compensate the seller for their loss. In fact, OREC form contracts often treat the buyer’s deposited earnest money as pre-negotiated compensatory damages in this exact scenario.

Specific Performance Attorneys in Oklahoma

Specific performance serves as a vital remedy in contract law. By compelling the performance of contractual duties, specific performance promotes fairness, equity, and the integrity of contractual relationships.

Contact Avenue Legal Group to discuss your specific performance or contract dispute.



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