can I walk out of a signed contract and get my deposit back

Hi there,

I signed a buying contract in Collierville, TN on May 1st for a new house.
While the closing date is open on the contract, the builder’s agent told us it
will take roughly about 6-7 months.
And now, they said they can only get the house ready by the 1 or 2 week in Feb
2019.
We don’t want to wait for this unreasonable 2 months delay and is wondering if we
could walk out from the contract and have our deposit back

Thanks in advance

Asked on December 5, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You most likely cannot: since the closing date is, as you say, open on the contract, the builder is held only to a standard of completing it in a reasonable time. You describe the house being ready in around 10 1/2 months, when it was supposed to be ready in around 7. A delay of 3 months or so in construction of a house is not unreasonable: in fact, such a delay is actually on the shorter side. Given the realities of building houses and how susceptible the process is to delays, it is highly unlikely that a court would consider this delay sufficient unreasonable as to justify the termination of the contract and return of your deposit.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.