Dear Monty: Our offer was accepted. How do we get out?
Reader question: We have an accepted offer on a home. The home we really wanted has come down in price, and we would love to get it. Can we do this?
Here are 3 scenarios
- A legal review of the contract that determines you can cancel the contract legally without the risk of deposit forfeiture or a specific performance action by the seller.
- If scenario one is not possible, go to the seller and ask them if they will agree to negotiate a cancellation agreement with a payment of "x" dollars, subject to you securing a contract on "Home B." The real estate agents must agree to waive their right to their commission if the seller agrees. Be prepared for a "no" answer. They may have made other financial commitments, or have other reasons. On the bright side, people have "seller remorse," or could relate, and say "yes."
Be careful what you wish for
Real estate transactions can get complicated when one of the participants wants to change direction. The "Home B" price reduction may produce additional buyers. Your attorney can advise you on the correct order to proceed.
Lastly, hindsight is always raising its head in real estate. While it may be that you now believe the other home is better suited for you, it may not turn out that way. At some point, your quest may dry up, and in the future, you will exclaim "Are we ever glad we stayed on course."
Richard Montgomery is the author of "House Money - An Insider’s Secrets to Saving Thousands When You Buy or Sell a Home." He advocates industry reform and offers readers unbiased real estate advice. Follow him on Twitter at @dearmonty.