Can I Back Out of a
Sale if I’ve Already
Accepted an Offer?

Selling a home involves a number of different complex processes. Accepting the home purchase offer doesn’t guarantee that the home sale will be completed. According to the most recent statistics from Forbes, about 3.9% of home sales failed nationally in 2016. Fortunately, real estate agreements often have contingencies in place that permit the seller to back out of a deal under certain circumstances. However, there may be repercussions or possible penalties.

Here at my firm, Martinez Law Office, I have the experience and resources to assist and guide clients in all real estate legal matters. As an experienced real estate attorney, I am available to review your unique circumstances and help you understand all of your legal options. 

If you are considering backing out of a sale after accepting an offer, I can offer you the detailed legal counsel and reliable advocacy you need to find a solution to your predicament. My firm proudly serves clients across Santa Ana and Southern California, including the areas of Los Angeles County, Orange County, and San Diego County.

Reasons a Seller Might
Want to Back Out

It is quite common for home sellers to try to back out of a real estate contract. Sellers can legally back out of real estate agreements for a number of different reasons, including:

  • The seller hasn’t found a new home yet and has nowhere to go
  • The deal on their potential new home fell through
  • A Low appraisal
  • The seller changed their mind or their circumstances have changed
  • Disagreements over the estate
  • The seller developed cold feet after accepting the offer

When Can A Seller
Back Out Without Penalty?

In some situations, a seller may be able to back out of the home sale and not suffer a penalty. Some of the most common circumstances that allow for this include:

  • The contract hasn’t been signed.
  • There was a breach of contract.
  • The buyer requested unreasonable repair requests.
  • The seller put certain contingencies into the contract that permit backing out, such as appraisal contingencies or financing contingencies.
  • The seller doesn’t have a clear title.
  • There was some level of fraud involved with the purchase.

If you need to back out of a contract, you can appeal to the buyer on a personal level or offer a refund.

Possible Consequences
of Backing Out

The possible consequences of backing out of a home sale include:

Specific Performance Provision

The buyer may sue for specific performance if the seller is unwilling to perform their expected obligations under the contract. This can trigger a court order that will require the seller to complete the home sale.

Other Potential Consequences

Other possible penalties that the seller may face include a lawsuit from the buyer for damages. The seller could also be forced to go through with the sale, property lien, or be subjected to other legal penalties. If you’re considering backing out of a home sale after accepting an offer, it is always advisable that you first consult with an experienced real estate attorney for proper guidance.

Martinez Law Office, Inc.
Is Here To Help

A sudden change in circumstances can make you second guess selling your home. Unfortunately, withdrawing from a purchase contract that has already been accepted can be an uphill battle between the buyer and seller. Therefore, if you’re considering backing out of a real estate sale, it is imperative that you hire an experienced real estate law attorney who can help you determine the best way to move forward.

Here at my firm, Martinez Law Office, I am dedicated to providing comprehensive legal guidance and reliable representation to clients facing real estate issues and disputes. As your legal counsel, I will review the circumstances of your unique situation and explore all available legal options at your disposal. I will appeal to the buyer of your home on your behalf and work to negotiate a reasonable resolution. Ultimately, I will do everything I can to help you resolve any potential disputes as peacefully and amicably as possible.

If you are considering backing out of the sale of your home, contact my firm, Martinez Law Office, today to schedule a consultation. I can offer you the experienced legal counsel and strong advocacy you need to reach a resolution that can help you move forward. My firm is proud to serve clients in Santa Ana and throughout Southern California, including Orange County, Los Angeles County, and San Diego County — so call today to schedule your own case evaluation!


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