Backing out of a contract when no earnest money has been deposited in escrow.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Backing out of a contract when no earnest money has been deposited in escrow.

I’m a realtor and I wrote an offer for a client yesterday but seller has not
responded to our offer. No earnest money has been deposited in escrow. No signed
contract by the sellers. My client found out that because he hasn’t owned his
house for 2 years he would have to pay capital gains in order to make this
purchase. How can we cancel this contract? Thank you

Asked on April 8, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You client can't unilaterally cancel the contract, even if no earnest money has been deposited: once they send the offer over to the seller, it is in the seller's court, and if the seller elects to accept it, a contract is formed.
But an offer does not have to stay open indefinitely: your client, through you, can give the seller another 24 hours to accept or not (give them written notice, by email or fax, so you can prove they got it). If they don't accept by then, the offer will be deemed withdrawn. You have to give them a warning that the offer will be withdrawn and some reasonable time to accept if they choose to.

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 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.

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