How can I legally terminate a real estate purchase contract?

UPDATED: Oct 10, 2011

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How can I legally terminate a real estate purchase contract?

I put a deposit on a house. We had a home inspection. We signed a reply to inspection report to fix flooding/water problems. We didn’t hear from the sellers, so we signed a termination of agreement sale the last day the sellers had to respond to us. They responded the last day at 11 pm via e-mail to my realtor agreeing to fix the issues. My wife and I looked at the home again and there are other issues including a retaining wall that needs to be replaced, as well as and water damage and mold. I would like to terminate the contract and get my deposit back. Is this possible? My realtor says no.

Asked on October 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you can terminate your real estate purchase contrcat given your current situation depnds upon the terms and condition of your agreement in that it controls the obligations owed to you by the seller and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

You need to carefully read your purchase agreement to see if there are any contingencies for its purchase that have not been waived by you (home inspection contingency and loan contingency are examples). If so, you may have a way to legally end your contract without having to close escrow.

If there are additional repairs that you want with the home, you should require them also as a means of closing escrow hoping that the seller will not agree to the new demand.

I sugest that you consult with an experienced real estate attorney over your situation to see if there is a basis for you to not close escrow on the home.

Good luck.

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 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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