Buying a house is a huge step in life, and it requires a big commitment and a lot of money. It is also something that can take time from the start to finish. After making an offer on a house, you may start having second thoughts, wondering if you made the right decision. Unfortunately, once you sign the agreement, you might be legally obligated to go through with the purchase. To find out what your options are, you may want to consult a real estate lawyer, and here are three options your lawyer might suggest.
Ask the Seller To Allow This
If you are really determined to get out of buying the house you agreed to buy, your first step should be to talk to the seller about it. You may want to make an appointment with your real estate agent and the seller of the house to discuss this, and this would offer a time when you could be completely honest about your feelings.
The seller might agree to let you out of the contract, but the seller does not have to. In Canada, when you sign papers to purchase a house, you will be held to the deal. You cannot use the excuse that you didn't understand what you were signing, or that you changed your mind about it. A written contract is a legally-binding document that you must follow through with.
It is strictly up to the seller of the house to make this decision though. If he or she agrees to let you out, you should realize that you will lose any earnest money you put down when signing the contract. Earnest money is a deposit placed on a house, and it is usually non-refundable if the deal falls through because of the buyer. If the deal falls through because of something the seller does wrong, you can get this money back in most cases.
Find a Fault With the House
The second method you could try using to get out of the deal is to find a problem with the house. This cannot be a minor surface issue with the house; it must be a major problem, and your contract may need to state that the sale is contingent upon certain conditions.
A common contingency is that the house must pass a home inspection. If you included this contingency on the contract, you will have a legal way out of the deal if the home inspection reveals a major issue with the house. This generally includes issues with a home's:
- Septic system
- Heating and air conditioning system
If you did not have a contingency on the contract for this, you may not be able to legally get out of the deal even if you find out about a major issue with the house.
Lack of Financing
The other option you may have for getting out of the contract can occur if you have trouble getting a loan. Almost all home purchase agreements contain the contingency that the deal will only go through if the buyer can get approved for financing.
Some people will not accept purchase offers unless the buyers have been preapproved for loans, but other sellers will accept offers from anyone. If you try to get a loan and cannot get approved because of your credit or lack of down payment, you will have a legal way to exit the deal.
If you are in a situation like this and need help, contact a real estate lawyer. Your lawyer from a firm like Rella, Paolini & Rogers may be able to help you find a legal method that will help you get out of buying the house you agreed to purchase.