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What if I change my mind about an agreement to buy real estate?

The decision to buy a piece of real estate may be a decision that involves hundreds of thousands of dollars. Therefore, if you have agreed to buy real estate and later changed your mind, you probably want to do everything you can to get out of the agreement. Ultimately, it depends on several factors whether you will be able to get out of the deal.

For example, most real estate purchase contracts involve a contingency, which we could also refer to for the purposes of simplicity as an "out" for both the buyer and the seller. These contingencies within the contractual provisions may give you the ability to back out of your agreement as long as you make this decision within a specified number of days after signing the contract. There may also be contingencies within your contract that relate to a failure to obtain approval for your loan.

The contingency period that relates to most real estate purchase agreements is relatively short -- perhaps only two weeks long. Once the "objection period" has come to a close, the primary way you can back out of the deal will involve the loss of your deposit money, which could be a prohibitive amount depending on the nature of your agreement.

Here are a few things that happen at the end of the contingency period:

  • You allow the contingency period to pass and thereby signal that you will close on the agreement or risk losing your deposit money.
  • You exercise your contingency and cancel the agreement to purchase.
  • You ask for an extension to the contingency because of some outstanding issues.

If you want to cancel your real estate purchase agreement, it's best that you contact a qualified real estate attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.

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