Boston Homes
- Page 4
Withdrawing from a contract to buy a home



Q: We signed a contract on a house, but in the days following, we started having serious buyer’s remorse and second thoughts. Can we stop this process? I can’t sleep at night because of this. It’s just not the right time or house for us.


A: Insomnia is not enough to get you out of a deal. But depending on the language and what is actually contained in your contract, you may have a possibility to stop this train and get off.


Typically, when a buyer signs a contract to purchase a home, the contract will contain several contingencies enabling the buyer, under very specific circumstances, to exit the deal with no penalty.


The most common contingencies in a Purchase and Sale contract are the buyer not getting financing, objections the buyer may have to the home inspection and the seller’s ability to deliver a clean title. There may be other contingencies as well, but these are the most common.


Each of these contingencies contained in the contract have very specific dates or time frames within which you must comply. Once the time lines pass, you effectively lose the right to terminate the contract.


You should promptly examine your contract to see what exactly it contains and the deadlines you are facing. If your contract has no contingencies, or the dates to comply with these contingencies have passed, and you walk away from the deal, you would be in breach of contract. At the very least, you will lose your deposit. At most, you may be facing a lawsuit.


If you really decide you cannot go through with the purchase, you should contact a good lawyer. There is a lot at stake and you are facing what could be very serious consequences.


You could also try writing a personal letter to the seller, explaining why it is necessary for you to terminate the deal at such a late date. Such an appeal may help you exit the deal with a minimum of damage.


Linda Goodspeed is a longtime real estate writer and author of “In and out of Darkness.” Email her at: