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What are the penalties if a seller backs out of a contract while still in the option period?

  • August 21 2013 - Plano
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Answers (5)

In our state, if a seller decides to back out of a contract, the buyer can then sue for "specific performance" or file a "lis pendens" that prevents a seller from selling to anyone else.  There are a couple of reasons that a seller may appear to change their mind. Either a seller will try to back out if they receive a better offer from someone else after going under contract, or they find out after accepting your offer that they are in a short sale situation and don't have the money to pay off their mortgage with the proceeds of the sale.  I strongly suggest you contact a real estate attorney to discuss your available options.  You may not get the house, but you may be able to receive some compensation for damages.
  • October 21 2013
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I understand your frustration I would attempt to force the seller to proceed forward with the sale and if they're incapable of doing so make sure they pay your inspection fee's, etc. back no matter what. In the end it never ends nicely hiring an attorney and in my eyes not even worth it. Have your agent contact the sellers agent and address the issue see what is said.
  • October 21 2013
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Thank you.
  • August 21 2013
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In most contracts the seller has no outs.
You could do something like not agree to any repairs.
Buyer could still move forward.

if you really don't want to move now, you could offer the buyer money to go away....Pay all their expenses and then give them money to go away.  I'd think that might be $2000-$5000 depending on the house.   They still don't have to take it, but some might.
  • August 21 2013
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Once the contract is signed, the seller is bound by it.  They cannot back out.  This is where your default paragraph of your contract comes into play.

The option period is for the buyer only to terminate without giving any reason.

The seller can be forced to go through the sale.

I would recommend talking to an attorney if that's a route that you are considering following.

Naima
  • August 21 2013
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