What can you do if the seller tries to back out of the deal?

When the seller accepts your offer on a home and you give them earnest money to show your commitment, you expect the transaction to go smoothly to closing. What happens when that is not the case? You might wonder if the seller can back out of the deal after accepting your offer.

There are a few things to know about your options when they try.

Are there contingencies in the contract?

Many real estate contracts include contingencies that detail things that the sale depends on. For example, many buyers include a contingency for a successful home inspection or the sale of their current home. Sellers may include a contingency that sets a financing deadline for buyers after which time the seller can back out if the buyer has not secured a mortgage. If the seller is canceling the contract due to a contingency, you may have no legal recourse.

What if no contingencies apply?

When the seller tries to back out of the sale without a relevant contingency to employ, that may be a breach of contract. You can seek an injunction that requires the seller to follow through with the sale contract if you can prove good faith on your part and a breach on the part of the seller.

While contingencies provide a viable option for either party to cancel a real estate contract, backing out of that contract without just cause according to the contract constitutes a breach. Understand your rights and protect your interests if the seller tries to back out of your contract.