Can a home seller change their mind?

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2022 | Residential Real Estate

You find a home that you want to buy, and you make an offer at market value. The seller accepts your offer. You’re very excited to finally have your own home.

But then the seller decides that they can’t bear the thought of moving out of their home after all. They tell you that they’re changing their mind and that they don’t want to sell the house anymore. Can they do this after they have accepted your offer?

Was the contract signed?

There are times when a seller can back out of a sale if they would like to do so. This often happens if they get another offer that is better than the one you made, and they would like to accept it instead. Or if they’ve been looking to buy a new home to replace the one that they’re selling and they can’t find one they like.

The main way in which they can get out of this deal is if no one has signed the contract yet. So the first thing to consider is simply where you stand in this process and if both sides have signed. If you have, then the contract has to be honored since it is a legally binding document.

But you also have to consider the exact specifications of that contract. For instance, some sellers will see this coming and add a contingency clause saying they only have to sell once they buy a new home. If you’ve agreed to this type of contract, they could theoretically keep the house until this is fulfilled.

No matter how this plays out, it’s probably getting a lot more complicated than you assumed when you decided to buy a house, and that’s why you need to understand your legal options.