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How can you get out of a real-estate agreement?

There are times when a real estate deal simply won't be the deal you thought it was. You may have decided to purchase a home, had an inspection and found there were problems you don't want to fix. Perhaps you entered into a contract and simply want to back out. In either case, there are some things you can do.

What you shouldn't do is wait too long to talk to your real-estate agent or attorney about your concerns. Much of a contract is based on timing, so you don't want to run out of time to dispute a claim or walk away without paying fees.

Getting an inspection

One of the best things you can do when buying a home is to get an inspection. An inspector can tell you everything he or she sees that is wrong with the house and what should be repaired. Once you have the inspection, you can negotiate for the seller to fix the damages or to release you from the purchase agreement. Some contracts allow you to walk away if there are significant problems with the house, no questions asked.

If you're still selling your home, a clause you may want in your contract is a "kick-out clause." This clause allows a seller to keep showing a home while a buyer's home is listed. Since the buyer can't purchase until the home is sold, the seller has one potential buyer but can keep looking for better offers. If he or she gets one, then the first buyer gets "kicked out" of the contract.

Getting out of a real-estate deal is as important as getting into one. Your attorney can help support you as you look into buying a home.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "How to Tactfully Back Out of a Real Estate Deal," Devon Thorsby, accessed June 15, 2018

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