How Breaches of Contract in Real Estate are Handled in Idaho

Sep 24, 2021 | Uncategorized

If you buy or sell real property in Idaho, it is important to know what might happen if either party breaches the contract during the transaction. Breaches of real estate contracts are handled differently than other types of contract breaches. Rather than ask for money, the injured party may seek specific performance, which is court-ordered. Specific performance means that the parties will be required to proceed with the sale of the property under the terms of the contract. 

In Idaho, the right of specific performance is typically available to the aggrieved party. The court will assume that money damages will be inadequate to resolve the dispute because of the uniqueness of land. 

There are exceptions to this general rule in Idaho. A court will only grant specific performance if an award of money is not adequate, plain, speedy, and complete. The court may also decline specific performance if a party cannot show it needs the real property for a unique and particular purpose. For example, if a party is purchasing real property with the intent to resell it for a profit, the court may find that specific performance is unnecessary because money damages will be a sufficient remedy. 

If you need assistance navigating a real estate contract breach, we have attorneys who specialize in the practice areas of business and real estate. Please contact our office to learn more.

This blog post is designed to provide general information on pertinent legal topics. The statements made are provided for educational purposes only. This blog does not provide legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Smith + Malek, PLLC. If you want to create an attorney-client relationship and have specific questions regarding the application of the law to your own circumstances, you should contact our office.


  1. See Suchan v. Rutherford, 90 Idaho 288, 295, 410 P.2d 434, 438 (1966).
  2. See Suchan, 90 Idaho at 295, 410 P.2d at 438.
  3. Suchan, 90 Idaho at 295, 410 P.2d at 438.
  4. Watkins v. Paul, 95 Idaho 499, 501, 511 P.2d 78, 783 (1973).
  5.  Watkins, 95 Idaho at 501, 511 P.2d at 783.