Can a buyer back out of purchase contract in Ohio? what are the specific performance damages for buyer? Thanks

Asked by Ajay, Dayton, OH Fri Sep 28, 2007

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Christina Ca…, Agent, Washington Township, OH
Tue Feb 5, 2008
It depends on how the contract is worded and there may be a penalty (such as withholding earnest money). I've always been able to get my clients out of contracts when the inspection did not go well. Please let me know if you have anymore questions.

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Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Fri Sep 28, 2007
The contract terms will define the remedies for each party in the event of a breach. You will need to have your contract reveiwed by an attny to gain a specific answer to your question.

When a buyer is in breach, a seller might sue for specific performance. More common is a settlement for damages. The amount may result from the terms of the contract, a negotiated settlement, or a legal action.

Are there any contingencies that would allow you out of the contract? Are you trying to back out as a result of an inability to secure finanincing, or inspeciton issues?

None of the above is legal advice. You will need to reveiw your contract w/ an atthy to determine your options. The above info was for discussion only.
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billie_fishe…, Home Buyer, Copperas Cove, TX
Thu Apr 28, 2016
I'm buying a home (for sale buy owner) and I sent the earnest money 2 times and both times she said she didn't get it and so 2 days a go I asked her if she got the check and she said no today and said that she is taking it off the market but we have a sign contract can she do that
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Just Want A…, , Dayton, OH
Sun Jul 22, 2012
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trulia, , Centerville, OH
Wed Apr 23, 2008
This is a question best answered by an attorney. Once the inspection issues have been agreed on it is wise to check with a real estate attorney. The Dayton Area Board of Realtors purchase contract allows the purchaser “back out” of the contract if the seller refuses to repair a defect to the property that affects the salability and habitability of the home. If the seller believes that your defect is not a defect you need to contact an attorney. The Dayton contract also has a financing contingency; however, backing out at the last minute can cause the seller to sue. So, this is a question best answered by an attorney.
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Don Bush Team, , Columbus, OH
Wed Feb 6, 2008
ONLY an Attorney should address this for you.
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John Youker,…, , Beavercreek, OH
Sat Sep 29, 2007
I am a real esate broker in Ohio, and I can say that I have had several situations within my office where buyers have backed out of contracts. In the market we are currently experiencing, the seller is a bit more likely to take action against the buyer than in the past. In the past I have seen as little as nothing done, and as much as taking the buyer to court. The court systems always seem to award the seller the earnest money, but I have not seen any moe than that. I do not believe there is a case in Ohio where the buyer was forced to buy a home under the specific performance rule. I have seen the seller forced into selling, but never a buyer forced into buying.

Bottom line: You can not force a buyer to buy. It is possible to sue for damages, lost market time, specific performance, etc, but it seems that the courst have not been very strong on this and simply award the earnest money to the seller.

I am not dispensing legal advice here, and I would certainly consult with an attorney on this matter. Belos is a link to the possible remedies of contract breach in the state of OH.
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Ute Ferdig, Agent, Newcastle, CA
Fri Sep 28, 2007
That's an interesting question and Deborah is right. You should have your contract reviewed by an attorney. I have to say that specific performance is usually not a remedy for a seller in real estate. In CA, real estate contracts usually have a liquidated damages clause that says that the buyer can only lose the deposit (no more than 3%) of the purchase price in the event the buyer defaults on the contract (i.e., pulls out without good cause after all contingencies have been removed). Specific performance is traditionally a remedy for a buyer to force a seller to perform as real estate is considered unique. It would be great if you could come back and let us know what the attorney said. I am always curious how real estate is being done in other parts of the country.
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