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New York Real Estate

Can a home seller back out of the sale?

| May 25, 2021 | Residential Real Estate

Under New York law, you can back out of a house sale even if you have an interested buyer. However, you’ll have to back out at a certain time to avoid legal action. Otherwise, the buyer might sue you for a breach of contract.

How do you back out of a sale?

During real estate transactions, you have multiple opportunities to back out of the sale. You can back out any time if the buyer hasn’t signed the contract yet. If they have signed the contract, you still have a five-day period where the attorneys review the contract. You could cancel the sale at any time during this period.

You could also back out of the sale if you feel that the buyer hasn’t met your requirements. For example, if they want you to make an unreasonable amount of repairs, you could refuse and force the buyer to cancel. Similarly, you could cancel the sale if the buyer violates the terms of the contract.

You could also write a clause directly into the contract that allows you to back out of the sale in certain situations. Once the buyer signs the contract, they have to abide by your rules. You might want to include a back-out clause in your contract just in case you change your mind. For example, you might stipulate that you don’t have to sell your house until you find a new place to live.

How can you protect yourself during a real estate sale?

An attorney could help you write a contract that allows you to back out and protects you from legal challenges. Even if you don’t think that you’ll back out of the sale, you don’t know what might happen in the future. Your attorney could also help you write a fair contract that helps you get the most out of your sale.