What do I look for in the buyer’s agreement in order to cancel if I cannot afford the payments to the house I am buying?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What do I look for in the buyer’s agreement in order to cancel if I cannot afford the payments to the house I am buying?

I want to back out of buying a house before closing.

Asked on August 8, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can only get out of the agreement if:
1) There is some clause, term, or provision which allows you to get out of the agreement now, under these circumstances, and you fully comply with it. (E.g. if there was a mortgage contingency allowing you out if you can't get a mortgage, you have not been able to get one, and you are still within time to exercise that contingency.)
2) The other side (the seller) breached or violated their obligations in some material way, such as by not being able to transfer good title or close when they were supposed to.
3) The seller committed fraud--e.g. you found out that he lied about whether the basement frequently or regularly floods.
Other than as the above, however, you are obligated to the contract, een if you cannot longer afford the payments; your personal financial situation does not provide a legal basis to escape a contract.

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.

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