Ask an Escrow Agent: Can a Seller Back Out of a Real Estate Transaction?

Ask an Escrow Agent: Can a Seller Back Out of a Real Estate Transaction?

When a seller accepts an offer, can they later break the contract? An accepted offer may be retracted by the seller if they have included a home of choice contingency or a kick-out clause in the accepted offer.

In a home of choice contingency, the seller is given a set amount of time — typically 30 to 60 days — to find a property to buy before finalizing a sale. The seller may break the contract if they are unable to locate a suitable property.

A kick-out clause states that if a superior offer presents itself, the seller has the right to “kick” the buyer out of the purchase agreement. The buyer’s house sale contingency, which states that the buyer cannot complete the sale until they sell their current home, is frequently amended with the kick-out provision.

When a buyer adds a kick-out clause and has a home sale contingency, you can accept other offers on your house while the buyer waits to sell their present one. You must inform the present buyer and give them 48–72 hours to remove the house sale contingency if a stronger offer comes in. You could break the contract if they don’t.

Although it’s not guaranteed to succeed, you can utilize a notice to perform to start the backing-out process if you don’t have those backup plans.

What exactly is a real estate purchase agreement?

A real estate contract known as a “purchase agreement” outlines the conditions of a home sale between a buyer and a seller. The purchasing contract will contain price, property details, deposit amount, terms of financing inspection conditions, tax on real estate, title protection, and the deadline.

The Purchase Agreement may not be updated after it is signed unless both parties agree to the modification in writing.

What is a notice to perform?

A notice to perform is a crucial document you must submit if you want to withdraw from an accepted deal. A seller’s tool for encouraging a buyer to meet deadlines under a contract is a notice to perform. It’s the first action you may take to rescind a house sale, and it informs the buyer that they must leave as soon as possible.

There are a few causes a seller could send a notice to perform. For example, if the buyer either didn’t do it in time or didn’t put down enough earnest money, the buyer hasn’t delivered the required or requested papers on time or at all, the purchaser has not provided evidence of cash, the buyer hasn’t provided a letter of preapproval or prequalification, or the buyer failed to meet a deadline for the fulfillment of a condition (such a house inspection).

If those criteria aren’t satisfied, usually within 48 hours, a notice to perform authorizes the seller to back out of the home transaction. A notice to perform is required in some areas, such as California, before any party may lawfully withdraw from a contract.

Working with a good real estate agent and a good escrow company can help. Learn how Neighborhood Escrow offers exceptional services by reading our FAQs.

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