The contractor didn't give up easily. After the sale was finalized, his agent contacted me and asked whether my buyer would be willing to sign over his accepted promise to purchase in return for a financial consideration. As it turns out, my buyer was willing to do that. The original vendors also agreed to allow the buyer with whom they had struck the deal to cede his rights to the new guy. Everything was done on the up and up.
The contractor offered to allow my vendors to stay in the house rent free for an extra month. As for the young buyer, he made a little somethin' somethin' selling the house before he even owned it.
Turns out the contractor bought a similar property next door to our dollhouse. Sadly, he will be tearing both properties down in order to build a condo complex.
There's no doubt that the project will make more efficient use of the land but I'm sad knowing that a little bit of Verdun's small-town past, a few trees and the birds who lived in them will be disappearing from the landscape.