What happens if I cancel the purchase agreement after the contingency period?

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What happens if I cancel the purchase agreement after the contingency period?

I am buying a house and have already removed the contingency after 17 days of the home inspection period. However, the listing stated concrete perimeter but I just found out that the house is on the slab foundation and I don’t like the slab. Can I still cancel the contract without losing my deposit?

Asked on July 16, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

"Not liking" the slab is not grounds to get out of the contract. IF the difference between a concrete perimeter and a slab is a material, or important, difference (e.g. in terms of maintenance, how stable or secure the foundation is, water or pest infiltration, etc.) and the house was listed as being on the perimeter, not on a slab, then this may be fraud (a material misrepresentation) and fraud would allow you to void the contract--BUT it must be the case that the difference between concrete perimeter and slab would be considered an important or significant difference by architects or engineers, since as stated, your personal preference is irrelevant. Also bear in mind  that even if the difference seems to be objedtively signficant, so that this may be be fraud, if the other side does not voluntarily let you out of the agreement, you'd have to go to court over this, which can be expensive and which is never certain (never believe any attorney who tells you that you are guaranteed to win a case--courts sometimes  do not rule as you expect them to). Therefore, fighting to get out of the agreement could take considerable time, effort, and money (you'd need to hire an engineer to testify in court, for example, about the difference between perimeter and slab) and is guaranteed to be successful.


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