Selling your home? Scared you made the wrong decision?by Tim Manni
Marcie Geffner has a new article on HSH.com that will help answer that question and more. Below is an excerpt from Marcie’s article, “Seller’s remorse? How to back out of a home sale contract,” but be sure to read it in its entirety:
“A seller is best-advised to be absolutely firm about wanting to sell real estate,” says Joanne Fanizza, an attorney in Farmingdale, N.Y. It’s indeed good advice since, as Fanizza explains, sellers face high hurdles if they want to back out of a contract to sell their home.
“I’ve seen situations where sellers thought, ‘I’m just not going to sell.’ They think the house just isn’t for sale anymore. You can’t do that after you’re in contract,” she warns.
Sellers sometimes change their minds because they’re unhappy about the sale price or the cost of repairs, have lost a job, decided not to relocate to another state or are involved in a loan modification, short sale or foreclosure.
None of those excuses makes canceling a deal easy, however.
“Sellers have fewer options (than buyers), and pretty much, if the seller has seller’s remorse, they kind of have to throw themselves on their sword and say, ‘I am so sorry. I am so remorseful,’” Fanizza says.
Exit through contingencies
Sellers who need an out should look first to the contingencies, or conditions, that are part of the sales contract. Such contingencies as the inability to get a mortgage, a bad appraisal and problems with the home inspection generally protect the buyer, but other conditions may work in the seller’s favor. For example, a home-purchase contingency could allow the seller to walk away if he or she can’t find another home to buy.
If the contingencies don’t offer an escape, the seller is stuck with breach of contract as the only way to not sell the home, and that’s a risky strategy. Breaching a contract is almost always taken as a show of bad faith.
Court may order specific performance
What’s more, the buyer might bring a lawsuit for specific performance, in which a court would order the seller to complete the sale, explains Louis Cammarosano, general manager of HomeGain, a home-sale website in Emeryville, CA.
“The buyer can say, ‘All the conditions are met. I have the check here. I have the financing. I’m going to give you this check, and you are going to hand over title to the house,’” he says.
Be sure to continue reading “Seller’s remorse? How to back out of a home sale contract.”