Can I back out of a contract of offer and acceptance? Also if the closing date passes without us closing on the property does that make the contract null and void?

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Can I back out of a contract of offer and acceptance? Also if the closing date passes without us closing on the property does that make the contract null and void?

I am purchasing a vacant lot and have decided
it is in my best interest not to the purchase
the property. I was going to purchase the
property with the money I make off the sale
of another property. Their wasn’t a
contingency placed in the contract on the
property I am buying that stated pending the
sale of other property. The closing dates
were set for the same day. The closing date
on the property I am selling changed and I am
going to have to change the date on the
property I am buying. If I let that day go by
and don’t sign a new contract is the previous
contract voided? If it doesn’t is there a way
to somehow get out of the contract?

Asked on November 21, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, if you miss the closing date, you are in breach of contract: the contract is not void, but you violated your obligations and the other side can 1) keep any deposit; and 2) if they lose more money by losing the sale than the size of the deposit (if any), sue you for their loss--such as, potentially, for the profit (sale price less costs) they would have made. If there are no contingencies or terms in the contract which will let you get out of it, then you can only escape the contract if the other side breaches, or violates, it in some material, or important way. Your best interest is irrelevant to the issue of the contract's enforceability.


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