Selling your home is an exhilarating experience clear up until you sign your house over. You’re pretty sure selling is the right thing to do, and then you sign. But wait! What if you realize (a little too late) that you don’t actually want to sell? Is there a way to back out?
Backing Out During Contingency Process
If there is an ideal time to back out of the deal, it’s during the contingency process. Contingencies are great if you need time to find a house before you sell your home or have other pressing issues that depend upon the sale of your house. Your real estate agent will need to put the contingencies in the contract and the buyer might also have some of their own. If you decide not to sell your house because you cannot find another house for you to live in and it’s in a contingency, then you are in the clear! If, however, the time for contingencies has passed, you may be out of luck.
Backing Out Under Contract
The contract you signed is a legally binding contract. This means, if you back out of it for any other reason than those outlined in the contract, it could have legal ramifications. Some of these ramifications include paying the buyer back their escrow money and paying your listing agent for the hours, money, and energy spent selling your house. If taken to court, you could be ordered to go through with the sale.
While most buyers will let you off the hook with a disappointed huff and walking away, for others it’s not that easy. They put a lot of time and money into finding a home, and there may be extenuating circumstances that keep them from immediately being able to buy another house. You may have to pay them for lodging and storage costs incurred because they thought they had a place to live. It isn’t pleasant, but there are consequences for waffling on your choice.
Some buyers will have the seller sign a memorandum of agreement that puts a legal lock on the title. This lock will prevent the title from being sold to another party until after the option to sell has been granted to the buyer whose name is on the contract. For example, if Joe wishes to sell his house but backs out at the last minute, Jamie can have him sign a memorandum of agreement. Now, if Joe decides he wants to sell the house again in a few months, he has to present the option to purchase the house to Jamie before selling the house to someone else.
Why do you want to back out?
Understanding there may be a lot of money involved for you to keep the house, you may want to consider the reasons you want to back out. You had a reason for listing the home in the first place, remember what that reason is and contemplate if that has changed. If not, then what is holding you back? Many want to stay because it’s where they grew up or they have some other emotional tie to the property. Is there a way you could still preserve that tie without bowing out on your deal? Maybe you could take a picture of the house or take a cutting of a tree from the yard with you. Figuring out a way to feel okay with the sale of the house will save you a lot of money in the long run and won’t taint your name for backing out on the deal.
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Looking sell your house without paying out a huge piece of the pie to your real estate agent? You need a discount agent from Clever. At Clever, we work with the top local agents in your area to ensure you get the service you’ll love at a price you can feel good about. Call us today at 1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form to get started.