Can I back out of a real estate contract if the selling party has changed?

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Can I back out of a real estate contract if the selling party has changed?

I am working with a realtor long distance. The selling property is in TX and I live in IL. A week ago I signed a contract stating the transaction was between me and the home owners. Today the realtor e-mailed me a new contract stating a relocation company is now involved so the contract had to be changed to show the company as the seller; and asked me to sign and return it. I replied I wanted a simple cash transaction between me and the sellers and I am not comfortable with a third party involved. The realtor replied I have no choice. Is this true? I haven’t signed the new contract.

Asked on April 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can be held to the contract you signed; you can't be forced to sign a new contract with new parties (e.g. the relocation company) or a contract that had any different terms than what you agreed to. So, if you don't sign the new contract, the seller can still have you go ahead with the old one; and moreover, YOU can enforce the contract, too--that is, you could require the seller to go ahead and comply with contract you signed with him or her. Remember: contracts are enforceable by *both* parties. The seller can't get out of the contract by claiming they want a relo company to be involved.

Note: as long as the terms are the same as the contract you signed, you write the check to the same person, etc., the seller *is* free to retain the relocation company to take care of coordination, paperwork, etc. for the seller (just as you could retain someone to help you with logistics or details)--but the again, the contract will still be between you and the seller, and the terms will still be the same.


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