Home Buying Tips: What if You Back Out of a Sale?


While searching for homes for sale, buyers often focus on getting a home, so they settle for a first property that meets most of their criteria. However, saying yes to a home before you’re ready has consequences.

Making Offers on Homes for Sale?

When you make an offer on a house, it’s a legally binding transaction. In order to avoid a case of buyer’s remorse, it’s important to fully understand what you agree to — and the consequences of changing your mind.

Backing Out of a Purchase and Sales Offer During Due Diligence

If you back out within the first 10 days after signing a contract, you probably won’t pay any penalties. You will, however, be out the fee for the inspection and any other fees incurred.

After Due Diligence Period

Rejecting a home after the due diligence period comes with a penalty. Let’s say you decide the traffic in the area is too bad or you that there aren’t enough bathrooms. You tell your real estate agent to get you out. They may give you the following cold facts as well as a piece of their mind:

  1. The Seller can take you to court and you can be forced to buy the house.
  2. The Seller can legally keep your earnest money deposit.
  3. The real estate brokerages for the seller and buyer agents can file a lawsuit for the commission owed.
  4. Lender fees, inspection fees and appraisal fees will be lost.
  5. You lose critical time in your home search.

Once you sign a Purchase and Sale Contract, you are bound to the home, so make sure it’s one you want to live in for the next several years. Also, jitters and last-minute fears are totally normal. Talk it out with your real estate agent to get to the bottom of your feelings before walking away.