Find Out How We Can Help

What happens if a buyer wants to cancel the closing?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2022 | Real Estate Law

Trying to sell a piece of real estate is a stressful process. You need to stage your property to make it appealing to buyers and then leave your house so that strangers can go through your space. Then, you have to review their offers to figure out which one would be best for you and your family.

Once you accept an offer, you may assume that the worst is behind you. Unfortunately, sometimes buyers try to cancel the purchase agreement before you close on the property. What happens to you if the buyer wants to walk away after you accept their offer?

You may get to keep the earnest money

Depending on the reason the buyer has for canceling and the terms of their offer, walking away might mean that the buyer gives up that deposit. However, if they cancel in accordance with a contingency in their contract, they might get their earnest money back.

You will likely need to put the house back on the market

Regardless of what happens with the earnest money, you can’t compel someone to follow through with the transaction they no longer wish to complete. They may not even have the financing to make the purchase if they wanted to.

You will need to relist the property or consider accepting a previous offer from another potential buyer. Although a sale falling through can be stressful and frustrating, it will ultimately only delay the sale of your home — not actually prevent it from occurring. Having legal guidance during a real estate transaction can help you handle unforeseen situations making a claim on the earnest money.