If as a buyer I want to back out of a real estate contract even though all contingencies were met, would I be potentially held liable for anything more than the deposit?

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If as a buyer I want to back out of a real estate contract even though all contingencies were met, would I be potentially held liable for anything more than the deposit?

I wanted to purchase this home but it came out that my real estate agent was not employed by the broker that he used when he made my purchase agreement. I was not aware of this. When we talked to Michigan Realtors Association, they said it’s a valid contract since it’s technically between the buyer and seller. However, the listing agent has been sending aggressive and unprofessional emails and it has left a bad taste in my mouth. I want to back out. Can I legally do that and what will be the potential consequences such as liquidated damages?

Asked on October 11, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The broker has nothing to do with the validity of the contract, since she's not a party to it--you can possibly file a complaint against her with the licensing association, or seek a protective order against her, etc. but that does not affect the contract.
If you back out now, you will *at least* lose your deposit. If the contract does not by its terms limit the seller to only keeping the deposit, then IF the seller can show that he incurred losses or costs (including possibly "carrying costs" for the property for holding it for an extended time due to your breach), he may be able to sue you for any amounts by which his losses or costs exceed the deposit.


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