Making Withdrawing From an Offer Easy

It’s never easy to go back on your word and cancel on a contractual offer. It’s true, life happens, things change, opportunities arise, and we don’t expect some of life’s biggest curve balls. How do these life events relate when it comes to buying real estate?

Every year a ton of home sales fall through. A safe assumption from the buyer’s perspective is you entered the contract with full intentions to purchase the home. As life happens, circumstances change. Since it is your life, you are legally allowed to back out of the contract at any time, but depending on when, you might have to forfeit some money.

There are two main situations when you withdraw from an offer. Here is what to expect from each situation, but there’s one common theme when dealing with both: it is imperative that you need to communicate clearly with your agent every step of the way.

Within a contingency period

Once you and the seller have agreed upon, and signed the contract, the deal is now binding. The standard real estate contract bears many contingencies, meaning that they must be met in order for both parties to proceed. You have agreed to buy the home after a successful inspection, appraisal, receiving financing to buy the home, etc. Once all these are met, the contract takes the next step towards the final transaction.

There’s a catch, if the inspector says the home needs all new piping or a new hardwood floor for example, and for that reason you do not want to buy the home, you are within your rights to cancel the contact and gain your money back.

No one likes to see these deals fall through, but if it has to be, better early in the process than later. This is the cleanest and easiest way to walk away from a contact for both parties.

Outside a contingency period

 Here is where things get a little hairy. If all contingencies are met and everyone is ready to move forwards,  here is where you expect to lose your money if you decide to walk away. Essentially you are reimbursing the seller for their time and damages.

It is worth repeating that no matter when you start thinking about walking away from a contract, a veteran real estate agent will make a world of a difference in advising how to navigate the process. Chances are they have seen this before and know when to jump over the holes in the road, and when to duck under the branches.

                Earlier is better

If you’re wanting out, don’t just sit there. Right when you know you need out, speak up. Let you agent know as soon as possible. They will provide the right paper work and make it as smooth of a process as possible.

                Transparency is key

Withdrawing from a contract is like trying to sail the seven seas with a paddle boat. Exactly, that’s crazy.

Do everyone a favor and act with integrity. Provide the seller with information to make the situation a bit less tense. Work with your agent to write the letter, and clearly state your intent. Don't beat around the bush, be clear and frank. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. It wouldn't hurt to add in dates so the seller can see the immediacy of your situation.

Buying a house is a lot like a relationship. All is well until one party wants out. The best thing to do is to have a seasoned real estate agent, and be as clear as possible.

Good luck!



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