Changed Your Mind, and Want to Keep Your House? Here’s How Buyers Give You Opportunities to Back Out Without Realizing It

There are times when a seller decides that they no longer wish to sell their house, however, they are already smack in the middle of the selling process with a buyer. You should know, that there are many loopholes in the contracts that will allow you to get out of the sale. For example, buyers unintentionally give you opportunities to do just that in the contracts.

If you’ve already signed the offer, there are still a few things that you can do. If it hasn’t been given to the buyer yet, ask your agent to destroy the copy that you signed. If they have already gotten the signed document, and the property does go formally under contract, your options will become much more limited. If this is the case, you should contact a real estate attorney who will give you a legal exit-strategy. You don’t want to get sued over a house. Never let the buyers know that you are trying to cancel the contract.

All buyers have the right to an inspection. Usually, after an inspection, buyers will compile a list of complaints in relation to the inspection results. This is where they try to manipulate the seller into taking less money. You are able to decline their requests, which will thereby cancel the contract. 

When the buyer adds a contingency regarding the appraisal into the contract, he has to take action in a specific amount of time. If he doesn’t do so by the said date, you are able to refuse to sell the house to him. Similarly, if an all-cash buyer doesn’t present the cash by the agreed-upon date, you don’t have to sell to him.

However, the law requires that you send them a “reminder.” After they receive the reminder, they still have so many days left to pay after that. So you do have to wait another few weeks from the reminder date before you can reject the buyer. If the buyer does everything correctly, and there is no way for you to get out of it, you can decide to just tell him you changed your mind.

Of course, this is breaching a legal contract, and the buyer is able to sue you. Generally, though, the court does not order the seller to sell to the buyer. However, you may end up having to pay commission to the broker. You could also suggest to the buyer that you will pay a specific sum of money to him to keep the house, provided that they keep the situation out of court.

If the buyers didn’t ever meet your terms, then you will not owe his agent commission. It is only if you breach the contract on your own. Tip: Check out this article by Zillow on The Anatomy of a Buyer’s Offer for more information.

2 thoughts on “Changed Your Mind, and Want to Keep Your House? Here’s How Buyers Give You Opportunities to Back Out Without Realizing It”

  1. If you find yourself in doubt at closing and you decide not to sell your home, then don’t panic—in fact, you may be able to back out of the deal without repercussions. Of course, you could face legal action as the buyer has the right to seek damages, but in most cases the court won’t force you to sell. This doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to wait until the last minute to back out, especially since brokers are still entitled to a commission. Don’t be afraid to say no and don’t give in to the pressure of selling your home until you’re ready.

  2. I’m not a real estate lawyer, but do realize that if you are able to get out of the situation, you are going to have to return the earnest money deposit. Most sellers aren’t aware of this. If YOU back out of the deal, I’m pretty sure it is illegal in most cases for you to keep that money.


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