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February 5th, 2011 (Modified on February 7th, 2011)

Selling your home? Scared you made the wrong decision?

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iStock_House forSaleYou’ve finally gone to contract on your home, and now you’re sorry you have. How can you get out of the contract?

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.”

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3 Responses to “Selling your home? Scared you made the wrong decision?”

  1. Tips For Staging Your Home To Sell | Selling Real Estate SF Says: February 6th, 2011 at 11:30 am

    [...] Selling your home? Scared you made the wrong decision? (hsh.com) [...]

  2. Heather Hadden Says: February 9th, 2011 at 9:11 am

    IMO, the only option for somebody who already signed the contract and made up his mind is to work it out with the buyer and make him agree to the cancellation of the contract. I always make sure that my clients are 100% sure about the deal when they put their signature there.

  3. Tim Manni Says: February 14th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Thanks Heather! Hope to hear from you again soon.
    –Tim

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About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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