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Specific Performance

Where the subject of an auction sale is land, either the vendor or vendee may obtain specific performance of the contract in an equitable proceeding[i].  Specific performance may be invoked regarding the sale of personal property[ii]. 

The highest bidder may specifically enforce the acceptance of the bid where:

  • the sale is without reserve; and
  • the right to withdraw the property does not exist after a bid has been made.

The highest bidder may also enforce a transfer of the property pursuant thereto, or may recover damages for breach of contract.  There is no contract between the parties in the absence of a sale without reserve, or where the property is withdrawn from auction sale before the acceptance of any bid.  In such circumstances, the specific performance remedy is not available.

[i] Torbron v. Campen, 579 So. 2d 165 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. 1991).

[ii] In re Cole & Stevens Roofing Co., 134 B.R. 60 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 1991).

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