Does the seller have legal grounds to sue me if I backed out of a house purchase due to problems with the property?

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Does the seller have legal grounds to sue me if I backed out of a house purchase due to problems with the property?

I entered into a contract to purchase a home. A week prior to close, I entered the home and found the dishwasher was leaking. My realtor contacted the other realtor to have fixed prior to moving in. The day before close, I was informed that the dishwasher was not fixed. I decided to back out of the purchase of the home for the appliance not fixed, among other reasons (asbestos siding). The seller is now requesting $5,000 for backing out of the purchase.

Asked on January 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Okay and you did all this with out the use of an attorney, right?  Well you need to consult one now.  You entered in to a contract and "backing out" may be considered a breach unless you have a right under the contract due to various issues with the house (and I doubt the dishwasher is one of them; money could be held in escrow for that.  But the asbestos may be something).  But unless the contract is read in conjunction with the law and the notice required under the contract as to issues raised in any inspection is properly given you may be in trouble  Get help.  Good luck.


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