How To Cancel a Real Estate Contract

So, you are regretting making the decision to buy a particular home or property.  Well, people normally go through this phase but most come out more confident than ever.  Now, if you are one of those people with serious regrets, then know that almost any contract can be cancelled.  Yes, even the ironclad agreements have loopholes.  Now, don't misinterpret this.  The process of canceling an agreement after signing it can be difficult and may require some legal maneuvering.  Sometimes, canceling a contract, a real estate agreement, for that matter will entail sweet-talking the sellers or finding some stipulations you can work with.  In any case, if you are working to get the commitment to purchase a house disregarded, then here are some tips on how to do just that.

  • Cancel before you sign.  This tip may be too late already however, it is still worth mentioning.  The easiest way to cancel a contract is to not sign it at all.  Therefore, make sure to read the contract front and back before signing it.  Make sure all the clauses are in order and you will not look back later on if you really plan to close the deal.  Otherwise, cancel it right now.  As long as your signature stays far away from the document, you are legally safe and free.
  • Look for escape clauses.  In the case that you already signed the agreement, make sure to read each clause and stipulation on it.  Most of the time, real estate agreements will contain certain stipulations that allow the cancellation of the agreement due to certain conditions not met by the seller.  For instance, it is common to have a condition on a contract that requires the seller to repair certain areas of the house.  If these conditions are not met during a specified period of time, then you can legitimize the cancellation of the contract thus, making it null and void.  To make this option more effective, make sure to contract a home inspector to realistically evaluate if the problems have not been resolved.
  • Plead with the other party.  Another way to get yourself out of this bind is to directly communicate with the other party, whether he is the buyer or the seller.  Plead your case and express your regret about the decision you made.  Some sweet talk may be appropriate at this point.  If the other party has some compassion left, he may agree to the cancellation and you can walk away Scott-free.
  • Consult a real estate lawyer.  If you were not familiar with all the legalese in the contract, it would be a wise move to consult a lawyer that is seasoned in real estate agreements.  Have him peruse the contract to find any loopholes you can take advantage of.  Even the most solid of contracts may contain minor stipulations that a lawyer worth his salt can leverage in order to have it cancelled.

If all these 4 options fail, you can actually go the desperate route by going to the other party directly and paying some kind of penalty as reparations for canceling the contract.  Any buyer or seller will appreciate this and will probably cancel the contract outright since you are offering a substantial amount just for its cancellation.


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