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When May a Seller Back Out of a Real Estate Contract?



A real estate contract is legally binding with several contingencies with specific conditions under which a seller may back out of the contract. There are several instances when a seller might want to back out of the contract, such as:

  • Disagreement with the estate

  • Difficult buyer

  • A higher offer comes in

  • Change in circumstances

  • Lack of a replacement home within the closing period

When May a Seller Walk Away From a Real Estate Contract?


Are you willing to back out of the real estate contract? Doing so may attract some inconveniences. However, you may back out in some instances, provided you legally comply with the terms of the agreement. Some of these instances include:


Unsigned Contract


Before the involved parties duly sign the official contract, the seller may comfortably walk away from the contract.


Attorney Review


Most real estate contracts use standard contracts. You should review this carefully, as such contracts will govern the circumstances that will allow a seller to back out of a real estate contract. An attorney's review of the contract beforehand would be prudent even if the seller is represented by a licensed real estate agent or broker.


Breach of Contract


When the buyer fails to comply with the terms of the agreement, the seller also has the grounds to cancel the contract.


The Buyer Requests Repairs the Seller is Not Willing to Do


Most buyers request repairs or repair credits after a home inspection. If the seller turns down the request by any chance, the buyer might, depending on the contract terms, terminate the contract.


A Suitable Housing Contingency


If the seller includes a suitable housing contingency in the contract and cannot secure a suitable home of the best fit, he/she may also back out of the contract. However, this contingency applies if the seller had explicitly written it in the contract.

In cases where the seller wrote a replacement or home sale contingency, they will typically be allowed an extra period to purchase a home. If the home is not found, the seller may also back out of the contract.


Are you out there trying to conduct real estate contracts, and everything turns out to be a hassle? The Law Office of Andre Clark, A Professional Law Corporation got you. Contact us today for more information on legal contracts.

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