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When am I locked-in to buying a home?

At what point does a buyer become locked-in to buying a home?  

If no money has been exchanged, can the buyer back out at any time?

If the process enters into attorney review, can the buyer get "cold feet" and just back out without paying massive penalties?
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October 02 2013 - US
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Answers (3)

It's when your offer becomes a contract and all inspection or due diligence periods are past. Then you are locked in.

tim
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October 02 2013
Hi Josh,
If you go in with cold feet, find a different property you're hot about!

Some contracts have limitations and provisions to allow you to do this, some do not. Without reading the contract in question it's tough to answer for me.  I will say this though, when entering into a contract make sure your deposit goes into an escrow account that will look out for your best interest!  That will make it harder to lose money if you back out.  In Florida on our standard FAR and BAR approved contracts you can lose your deposit and face other penalties.  I've never actually had a client lose money although I've had it tied up by angry sellers a couple times while we fought to protect my buyers money.

On new construction in Florida you have what's called a "15 day rescission period' which is basically a "buyers remorse clause". 

I hope I was helpful.  Good luck in your process and I hope you find what you're looking for!

Nick
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October 02 2013
Hi Josh,
I am sure it depends on the laws in your state. In Wisconsin, when all contingencies are removed the sale is binding.  There are options if a buyer gets "cold feet" though... it mostly depends on the sellers willingness!
Good luck.
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October 02 2013
 
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