Can a buyer back out of a contract?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a buyer back out of a contract?

I’m in the process of buying a home in South Carolina. It is currently under contract and the closing date is in a couple weeks. I’ve had the home inspection and appraisal completed. There were no issues with the home inspection. The appraisal came back at $9000 less than the offer amount. The

contract was signed stating that it is not contingent on the appraisal so I would be responsible for paying the $9000 difference. Can I back out of the contract without the seller suing me or coming after me in any way? I know that I would be out of the earnest money and any closing cost appraisal, home inspection, etc. that have already taken place. What are my rights as a buyer for backing out of a contract?

Asked on June 14, 2017 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

 A buyer has no right(s) to back out of a contract unless--
1) There is some contingency or early termination clause which allows him or her out--but you write that there is no contingency that would help you.
2) The seller committed fraud, or knowingly lied about something material, or important, upon which lie you reasonably relied in deciding to buy.
3) The seller breaches the contract in some important or material way, such as by not being able to convey good title or not being able to close.
Apart from the above, you are obligated to the sale, even if doing so is financially to your disadvanage. If you breach the contract, at a minimum, the seller will keep your earnest money or deposit; but if the seller can show that they have incurred greater losses than that, they can sue you for the extra money, too. For example: say that after you breach, it takes the seller 7 months more to sell, so they pay 7 months more of mortgage, taxes, utilities, insurance, etc. at, say, $3,000/month total, or $21,000. If your earnest money was, say, $8,000, the seller could sue for the extra $13,000.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption