Though no one likes to think about this possibility, sometimes even the most dedicated buyers get cold feet. When that happens, it’s not uncommon for the buyers to start to wonder if there’s a way for them to back out of the deal entirely.
If that scenario sounds a bit too familiar, you’re not alone. Fortunately, if you think you need to back out of your real estate deal, you do have a few options at your disposal. I’ve laid them out for you below. Keep reading to learn how you can walk away from a real estate transaction.
Try to withdraw before your offer has been accepted
If you can, do your best to make the decision to walk away from the home before your offer has been accepted, or signed off on by the sellers. At that point, backing out is as simple as letting the sellers know that you’re no longer interested putting in an offer.
Put simply, until all the paperwork has two sets of signatures on it, you’re not officially under contract. This means, you’re free to walk away from the deal for any reason. It’s only once you’re under contract that things tend to get a little more complicated.
After everything is signed, check your contingencies
Every real estate contract has contingencies, or things that need to happen successfully in order for the transaction to move forward. Typically contingencies revolve around things like performing inspections and negotiating repairs or fulfilling all the necessary requirements needed to get a mortgage.
After you’re under contract, your contingencies are your way out of the transaction with your earnest money deposit in hand. While you can’t leave just because you changed your mind about buying the home, you do have the option to walk away from the sale if, for example, you felt that there was too much work to be done on the home after seeing the home inspection report.
However, keep in mind that you still do need to keep up your end of the bargain in order to be entitled to your deposit. This means that you still need to meet all the deadlines and responsibilities outlined in the Agreement of Sale until you reach the point where you have the opportunity to walk away.
Your best bet, in this case, is to be upfront and honest with your real estate agent. He or she can help you determine what options are available to you.
If all else fails, just walk away
Technically, you have the option to walk away from buying the home at any point. However, the big caveat here is that, in doing so, you forfeit your right to get your deposit money back. At that point, it becomes compensation to the sellers for losing out on the deal.
That said, depending on how much you agreed to put down as a deposit, you could be letting go of a lot of money. Ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh whether walking away from the home is worth the price.