Are You Able To Back Out Of A Real Estate Contract?

Posted on: 16 December 2016

If you are selling a new house, there may be a chance that you have to back out of the contract and cancel the sale. However, you may end up in breach of contract if you just decide to back out without meeting certain conditions or having particular reasons. So, if you do need to back out, what are some reasons or conditions that will let you back out of the contract?

Read the Contract

Ideally, your contract will list some conditions that will let either you or the buyer back out of the contract with no consequences. If your reason for backing out meets one of those conditions, then you are alright. Your realtor should have set up the contract so that you have some of those conditions. However, it is important to note that real estate contracts are generally set up heavily in the buyer's favor. There are several reasons that can show up in your contract as reasons to cancel the contract.


One reason that you may be able to back out of the contract is that you and the buyer just can't come to terms about how many repairs that you will do before you sell and how much you will spend on those repairs. As part of the sale process, the buyer should have had a home inspector out to check out the property and find any problems in the house. The buyer may want you to repair all problems that the inspector finds, but you may only want to repair some of the problems. Your realtor should negotiate with the buyer, their agent, or realtor for which repairs you will actually pay for. If you can't come to an agreement, you can back out of the contract. 

New Home

You may not realize that you can add in a condition that says that you have to have a new house before the end of your closing period so that you have some place that you can move. That condition should also give a date as to when you will have the new house and when you will be moved out of your old house. You have to make a good faith effort to find a new house that you can move into. You can't just pretend and use it as an excuse to get out of the sale if you have remorse. 

If you have to back out of the sale, you may have to pay a sweetener to the buyer so that they aren't losing money on the contract. For assistance, talk to a realtor.