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Home > Blog > Real Estate (Commercial And Residential) > When Can You Get Out of Buying a Home?

When Can You Get Out of Buying a Home?


Situations can change quickly. One day you think you are about to own a new home. The next day, you may be looking for any way possible to get out of the contract. No matter where you are in the home-buying process, there may be ways for you to back out. Some may leave you free and clear, while others could lead to your having a financial liability. To learn more about your rights and options, contact an experienced residential real estate attorney today for help.

Where Are You in the Home-Buying Process?

If you have merely put in an offer on a home, then it is usually not difficult to get out of buying the house. When you work with an experienced agent or lawyer, you should be able to rescind your offer for many reasons. However, if you have put up your earnest money and/or signed a contract, then the situation is different. You need to discuss with an experienced lawyer your options for backing out and how to do so properly.

Did the Buyer Not Meet a Contingency in the Contact?

One of the main ways you can get out of a home purchase contract is if one of the contingencies was not met. This is how most people get out of buying a home they end up not wanting or cannot afford without losing out on any – or too much – money.

These contingencies may include:

  • You are not approved for a mortgage
  • You lost your job
  • You are unable to sell your home
  • Finding out the title to the home is not clean
  • The home inspection came back unsatisfactory
  • You found out there were defects or hazards the seller did not disclose
  • You did not receive certain documentation within the required period of time
  • You discovered you were told inaccurate property lines
  • You discovered undisclosed easements

Breaching the Contract

If you need to back out of the purchase contract but you cannot use a contingency as your basis for doing so, then you may need to breach the contract. This means you are outright not fulfilling your end of the bargain. If you have put down your earnest money, do not expect it back. Breaching the contract often means you forfeit your down payment.

Also, there is a chance the seller will sue you for breach of contract, asking for financial damages or specific performance. However, that is often a waste of a seller’s time, energy, and money. Whether or not a seller wants to move forward with a civil claim against you will depend on the circumstances and how much he or she lost preparing for this sale.

Contact us for Help Today

Speak with an experienced West Palm Beach attorney from the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. today before deciding to breach a real estate purchase contract. We will review your options and guide you through the process to mitigate any damage. It may be as simple as picking up the phone and speaking with the seller or his or her representative. Depending on the situation and the real estate market, the seller may be happy to let you out of the contract and move on to the next interested buyer.

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