Correction: Can a BUYER (not a Seller) back out if an offer to a short sale property is accepted? Any fines?

Asked by Amanda, Los Angeles, CA Sun May 3, 2009

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Jonathan Sta…, Agent, Covina, CA
Thu Aug 6, 2009
Hi Amanda,
The answer is almost always "Yes".
In general, Buyer’s can almost always back out if they have discovered material facts that are detrimental to the purchase.
The courts have ruled that if the BUYER THINKS the material fact is detrimental, THEN IT IS.
I am not an attorney (and I don’t play one on TV). This advice from my own personal experience.
Your contract would have to be reviewed by your Broker or your Attorney to give you specific advice.
I hope this helps you.
Jonathan Starr
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Seth T J Mil…, , West Covina, CA
Mon May 4, 2009
Hello again Amanda, David and Marlene are correct in that an accurate answer depends greatly upon how far along in the process you are, and also the justification for backing out... The first question I would want to ask is; have you or your agent received anything in writing that the bank approved the short sale? Have you or your agent received anything at all signed from the seller for that matter? There are several ways in which a buyer can back out of a deal without any penalty, but depending on how long you've been in escrow the Liquidated Damages clause may be in effect and you may loose your initial good faith deposit. If you could provide us more information (timelines and reasons) we may be of more assistance, but without actually seeing the contract we'd all still be speculating… So I'd highly recommend having a confident legal professional review your actual contract to provide you with an accurate answer.
The second question I want to ask is where is your Realtor that wrote the offer on your behalf? When working with a buyer the agent’s main goal is to not only find the desired house for the most affordable price, but once in escrow the buyer’s agent has a fiduciary duty to the client to protect that deposit check. If the deal is not what you initially thought it to be your biggest advocate in getting you out without penalty should be your agent. Best of luck, and I hope this pans out well for you.
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David & Marl…, Agent, Los Olivos, CA
Sun May 3, 2009
I don't think you provided enough information to properly answer this question. If the contract has been signed by the seller but not accepted by the short sale lender, you can withdraw your offer. If the short sale lender has accepted and you are within the contingency period and you find during your due diligence that the property is not what you anticipated, items not disclosed, requiring too many repairs, undisclosed nuisances in the neighborhood, etc you could withdraw your offer within the contingency period. If you qualified for the loan and then lost your job, and you are within the loan contingency period, you have another valid reason to withdraw---cannot qualify. I would think all of these items would be without penalty. However, it is always best, if you have serious concerns about your deposit and withdrawal, consult a real estate attorney.
Good Luck
Marlene Macbeth, e-PRO, GRI
Santa Ynez Valley, CA
0 votes
Pp Bb, Agent, Pomona, CA
Sun May 3, 2009
When making an offer the standard time for acceptance is 3 days, after that the contact is void (unless the buyer still wants it). So, it really depends on where you are in the contract. You will need to review you contract to make sure that is what is on yours.
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Aj Zaki, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Sun May 3, 2009
Hi Amanda
It depends on what is in the conrtact ,any cotingenies also look at the dates in the contract
. and of course have a Real estate review your contract..
Good Luck.

Broker Associate
561-843-7010 Mobile
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