Our Dallas realtors have seen the sparkle in the eyes of someone who’s just purchased their dream home time and time again. What hurts is when you think you’ve finally found that perfect home, you’re in the process of making the deal – and the seller bails on you. Can sellers really back out of a home sale? In certain situations, yes. Here’s what you need to know as a buyer.
Sellers can’t bail on a buyer anytime they want to. If you think a seller has backed out because another buyer has made a better offer, this isn’t ethical. A seller may back out in these situations:
- The buyer fails to stick to the terms of the contract. For instance, if you don’t secure a mortgage within a certain allotted time period, the seller may decide not to wait around.
- The contract hasn’t been signed. A seller can legally and without any ramification squash a deal with the buyer if the contract has not been officially signed.
- There’s an addendum in the contract. A seller can include a contingency within the contract that can be used as an escape route. For instance, if the seller includes a contingency stating they have to find a home where they want to live prior to making the deal final, they can bail without facing a penalty.
- The standard real estate contract is in the review period. In many home sales a standard real estate contract is used, which allows for the buyer’s or seller’s attorney to cancel the contract during a five-day review period, for any reason at all. There are no negative consequences for either party, however, it isn’t common for a seller to back out of the sale during this review period.
- The seller is not willing to make repairs at the buyer’s request. Buyers sometimes request repairs be made following a home inspection, however the seller has the right to refuse making the repairs or lowering the sale price to an amount that would offset the cost of repairs. When this happens, the real estate contract could be “constructively” cancelled, which is actually on the buyer’s back as the buyer is forced to either back out of the deal or forego the request for repairs.
Thankfully it isn’t common for a seller to back out on a home sale. Other than the circumstances listed above, sellers can face serious consequences for reneging on a deal.
Are you looking for your dream home in the North Texas area? At Team Nelson, our Dallas real estate professionals know the market, the homes available, and how to quickly find the homes that meet your criteria. Give us a call today!