Can You Back Out of an Accepted Offer on a House?

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Real Estate

Can You Back Out of an Accepted Offer on Your House? Insights from a Real Estate Agent in Winter Haven, Florida

It is possible for you — the seller — to withdraw from an accepted offer on your Winter Haven home. However, it is uncommon, and it can be tricky to get right.

Only a few circumstances allow sellers to [lawfully] back out of a purchase agreement. And backing out the wrong way could result in some serious legal consequences — the buyer or listing agent may sue the seller, and the seller may have a tough time finding a new buyer. Therefore, it’s always recommended that you consult with your real estate agent in Winter Haven, Florida before trying to get out of a home sale. If you do wish to back out of a home sale, here are some things you should know:

Valid Reasons to Back Out of a Purchase Agreement

It can be a challenging task to back out of a purchase agreement if the buyer holds up their end of the bargain. You cannot simply tell the buyer that you have changed your mind and walk away from the deal, can you?

With that said, there are three instances in which you can terminate a real estate contract, even if the buyer wants to proceed with the sale:

1. The contract has a provision allowing the seller to cancel it if certain conditions are met.

One of the easiest ways to terminate a real estate contract is to use a “contingency” clause in the contract, which allows one or both parties to back out on an accepted offer under certain conditions. 

The problem is that many sellers do not actually have this choice. Most purchase agreement contingencies are designed to safeguard the buyers, not the sellers. An offer, for example, could be contingent on the results of a home inspection or the buyer’s ability to secure a mortgage.

2. The buyer violates specified contract terms.

Though it is not very common, you may be able to back out of your Winter Haven home sale if the buyer breaches certain terms of the agreement. For example, if they missed the escrow payment deadline, or if they failed to inform you or their lender of changes in their financial situation that could affect their mortgage, you might legally be able to back out of the contract.

You and your Winter Haven real estate agent will have to notify the buyer in writing that they are in breach, and then wait a few days to see if they comply. You cannot terminate the contract if the buyer misses a deadline by only a few hours and is not wilfully violating the contract terms. 

3. You have evidence that the buyer committed fraud.

Buyers cannot use fraudulent practices to deceive someone into signing a purchase agreement, just as sellers cannot lie about the condition of their house. And if the seller can establish that the buyer committed fraud, a court may void the real estate contract. 

For example, people posing as property investors often target elderly homeowners and deceive them into selling their Winter Haven home for a fraction of its actual market value. If you believe you or a loved one is a victim of fraud, you can terminate the real estate contract.

Looking for the Best Real Estate Agent in Winter Haven, Florida? Contact Lisa Matheny Today!

If you turn to questionable tactics while trying to back out an accepted offer on your home, you could find yourself in a legal mess. So, if you are thinking about terminating a signed real estate contract, it’s best to speak with a qualified and experienced Winter Haven real estate agent first. 

Are you looking for the top-rated real estate agent in Winter Haven, Florida? If so, look no further than Lisa Matheny, Realtor with the Dalton Wade Real Estate Group. Contact Lisa today at (863) 412-6633 to discuss your situation.