can a seller get out of a sale before it closes?

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can a seller get out of a sale before it closes?

We have a signed around agreement but the inspection contingency has not been removed yet. We received a back up offer at a higher price and would like to know if there is any way to get out of the first deal?

Asked on June 26, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The inspection contingency is there to protect the *buyer*, not the seller: the seller cannot use the contingency to escape the sale. If the buyer fails to propertly act on the contingency in time (by the time they are supposed to), the buyer will lose the protection or benefit of the contingecy and will be locked into the sale regardless of issues found--so this will not let you out.
However, if under or pursuant to the contingency, the buyer demands repairs or compensation for inspection issuses which you refuse to make, then the ball is back in the buyer's court: they can take the home as is (with the issues) or else *they* can get out of the sale. If they opt out of the sale, you'd be free to sell to another. Otherwise, you can only get out of the sale if the buyer breaches some material or important term of the agreement, like failing to make a payment or deposit on time.


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