Home Buying in Norwich>Question Details

Justin Videll, Home Buyer in Baltic, CT

Getting out of a contract

Asked by Justin Videll, Baltic, CT Thu Jan 17, 2013

Can I go see a property if I currently under contract to buy a different one?

Help the community by answering this question:


You can look at as many houses as you want. There is no illegality to it. You must have misinterpreted what your agent told you. Your agent is likely not interested in showing you other properties if he/she figures you are not serious about them since you have another under contract and thus it is unlikely you will sign another contract before the first one is figured out one way or the other. Your agent may feel showing you more properties when you have one under contract is a waste of her time. In reality, it probably is.

Additionally this agent may not want you to look at too much more stuff because you may come down with a form of "pre-buyer's remorse" so to speak and decide you have changed your mind and don't want to buy the property you have under contract.

I suggest that if the house has way more work than you expected, then back out of the deal. Your contract does have contingency for this right? Then keep looking.

Illegal for them to show you more? Absolutely not.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 7, 2014
It's difficult for any agent to give pointed advice without knowing the specifics of your situation. However, in general I would recommend reading your contract very carefully so you know what your responsibilities are as well as the seller's. For example, typical contracts have a home inspection contingency. If you are within the contingency date and something came up in the inspection that you don't like and the sellers will not remedy it, you can terminate the contract and get your security deposit back, plain and simple. If you waived the home inspection contingency or are beyond that or all contingency dates, you may have to walk away from your deposit. To answer your original question, you don't have to close on a property if you don't want to, but depending on the terms of the contract you may or may not lose your deposit.
Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2013

There are a bunch of good answers provided before my response but there's a few points that I think are worth sharing.

Responses below are by not an intent to interfere with your current relationship with your agent, nor are they solicitations or suggestions that you should work with anyone other than the agent you have an agreement with.

First, you've indicated that you have a Buyer's agent working for you and you have a signed contract to purchase a property. If your agent is a REALTOR®, they are required to work with you in an honest and fair manner putting your interests first (reasons to work with REALTORS® are here: http://tinyurl.com/624omlz not all agents are REALTORS®). Your agent should recognize that there is a line that he or she can't cross and that is when you as a Buyer have a legal question which is best answered by the Attorney you intend on working with when you close the property.

Second, depending on what form of contract you agreement is on, there are often provisions and contingencies in your current purchase agreement that allow you to NOT proceed with the closing and for your deposit to be refunded in full if your agreement provided you with inspection rights and you are not happy with the results. There are limited windows of time for you to complete inspections and most agreements require that YOU notify the Seller's of problems found during inspections. If you let such a written notification deadline pass, then the inspection contingency is gone.

Finally, as others have said, looking at other properties is your prerogative and your current agent should support your looking at other properties if that's in your best interest. It may not be in their best interest, but it's your needs and interests that trump all. Having an honest and open discussion with your current agent and attorney should help you come understand what options you have.

Best of luck with your new home purchase.

Greg Hanner, REALTOR®, Broker Associate & e-PRO
Garden Realty, Uncasville, CT
Email: Greg@GardenRealty.com Web: http://www.GardenRealty.com
Voice – 860.608.8659 Fax – 860.889.5379
Web Reference: http://www.GardenRealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2013
If you are under contract with a short sale and the bank hasn't approved it or negioated with you yet, then you do not have contract with the bank and certainly can still back out and look at other properties.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2013
Justin, does your contract include an inspection contingency, and does the contract say you will buy the house "as-is"? Most residential purchase and sale contracts allow the buyer to make inspections (sounds like you did) and if problems (termites) are identified, to negotiate a remedy. You should read your contract and check with your agent or the agent's managing broker about that. If you don't want the house now, you should terminate the contract. If the contract doesn't include an inspection contingency, or if you didn't meet the deadlines for requesting a remedy, you might not get your deposit back. Losing a deposit would be a small cost compared to being stuck in a contract to buy a house you don't want.

It's not illegal to look at other homes while you're working on resolving this, but it's better for you to know where you stand before you get involved with another property. Sounds to me like your agent is trying to protect you from legal problems, and a minor misunderstanding has gotten blown up out of proportion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2013
If your agent is confused about the legality, consider getting another agent. Now if they don't want to be bothered, decide how you feel about this and go from there.
Now, before you plan your next home tour make certain you are within the contractual timeframe to get out of that deal. Inspection issues are usually connected to a set date to respond. If you miss that date, your earnest money could be at risk.
If this agent isn't certain or helpful, ask for the managing broker.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2013
We do not want the house we are under contract for as the estimates for all repairs required are over 30k which is far above what we have available. And our agent knows this
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2013
Hi Justin. It is the Realtor's discretion. Not illegal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2013
May be a nice way of saying you already bought a house so why see more? Not illegal by any means that I can think of.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2013
Our agent led us to believe it was illegal for him to show us any other property. The house we are under contract for needs more repair then we thought... It has structural termite damage
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2013
Hi Justin, Why look at another property when you have one under contract? Are you prepared to lose your deposit for cancelling.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2013
I agree with Roland. Why keep looking if you found your house....what if you do find one better. You still have to get out of your contract. Be prepared you might lose your deposit.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2013
Of course you can, see all you want, buy all of them... But if you can only afford one at a time, and already have one under contract to buy, I'd suggest not teasing yourself any further. Stop looking at those ads! Remember ones you have seen already, how it looked great in the ad but when you saw the place, you were no longer interested? Why would the new one be any different? You've found your place; stop looking and be satisfied with your choice. The grass is always greener....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2013
Hi Justin,

You can go see as many properties as you want to. However, can you buy more than one property if you find another one you like?

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2013
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