Can I back out of a transaction?

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The short answer is, yes. Now, whether or not there will be consequences for backing out of a transaction will depend entirely on the terms of the contract.

Typically, you will have contingencies built into the purchase agreement that can provide you with a virtual parachute.

Contingencies can include:

  • Receipt of Contract
  • Disclosures
  • Financing
  • Appraisal
  • Inspections
  • Survey
Signing a Contract

There are also delivery, objection and resolution deadlines with the constituencies. These are opportunities to terminate a contract with cause and get a reimbursement of the earnest money deposit.


Now, if you are unable to utilize one of the contingencies to back out of a contract, you can still request to terminate the purchase agreement, but you’ll likely forfeit your earnest money deposit and lose out on the reimbursement of any services you paid for in advance such as the home inspections and the appraisal.

One major consequence for backing out of a transaction without cause is that the Seller could file a lawsuit against you. Whether they choose to sue for Specific Performance or for alleged damages from having the home off the market, you could turn your home buying experience into a nightmare.

Avoid Problems

The worst case scenarios can be avoided by simply communicating with your real restate broker the moment you believe you want to back out. Waiting could cost you money, time and frustration.



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