What Happens if the Seller Gets “cold feet”? (Ontario)


What happens when the seller decides he doesn’t want to sell anymore. Offer accepted, all conditions met just closing in a few weeks and now seller doesn’t want to close.


The Seller is going to have to close or pull out their cheque book.

In Ontario, we do have Specific Performance, but only if the property is “unique” in some way. Otherwise, the Buyer just gets money. A “Lis Pendens” in Ontario is called a “Certificate of Pending Litigation”. It is a Court Order, so part of the material which is required to be filed before the Court has to demonstrate its “uniqueness”.

If it meets the “uniqueness” test, the Court will issue the Court Order which ties up the property.

If the property is not “unique”, the Seller gets to litigate. The Buyer proves the damages incurred by reason of the Seller’s default.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *