How to cancel an offer to purchase?

Asked by Tania, North Carolina Mon Oct 12, 2009

I signed an offer to purchase and it was excepted by the seller. I had a home inspection done and the only thing that came up was that the smoke detectors were not wired. It was noted on the report. I received an email on Saturday from my buyers agent stating that the seller refused to fix them. He said in the email that I could cancel the contract. So I found another house more suited for myself. I emailed him back within the hour, telling him to cancel the contract and to show me this other house. My agent called me several hours later and said that I would probably lose my earnest money and possibly be sued. It sounds to me like he isn't telling me something, because I don't see why this is happening. Can I not get out of this without legal representation?

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Allyson Ward, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Sat Nov 28, 2009
If you are purchasing in NC, you cannot assign the contract. DP2's answer does not apply in NC if that is what he is implying.
0 votes
Dp2, , Virginia
Sat Nov 28, 2009
Here's another thought from an investor's perspective. Why not try to flip that contract to another buyer (assuming you negotiated a decent price)?
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sat Nov 28, 2009
Why not contact an attorney specializing in Real Estate and hear all your options firsthand.

0 votes
Allyson Ward, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Sat Nov 28, 2009
Seems to me as long as the smoke detectors work... the contract isn't voidable. Because they are or aren't wired is preferential but as long as they work, it's a moot point.

I could be wrong but I am looking at this from the standpoint of a judge in small claims court. The main question is, did you just change your mind and decide that you wanted a diff. home?
0 votes
Joe Salcedo, , San Jose, CA
Mon Oct 12, 2009
You want to buy this house or not are you serious? When you made an offer to
this property are commit to your self you are sure about this property yes or no,
Please be advice that this time and money involved in this transaction. So if are
thinking of getting out tell the agent you are not happy in this property not using
smoke detector as a reason to back out... tell the truth..The seller had a right
to keep your deposit if the rmoval of contingency is been remeved.
0 votes
Reginold Jon…, Agent, Cary, NC
Mon Oct 12, 2009
I know that this is the LAST thing you expected to happen and I am so sorry it happened to you. Probably none of these answers are what you want to hear but as echoed in other answers, none of us are attorneys so we can't necessarily give you legal advise regarding the civil issue but from contract law standpoint, you can cancel a contract at ANY time. Getting youf money back is the big issue but until the contract is reviewed, there is not alot that can be said with certainty. Assuming that you met all the timelines, your agent can only send in a termination of contract form with you requesting that you get you money returned. If they (the seller) dont agree, the money goes to clerk of court and you plead your case there.

Reginold Jones

919 451 8450
0 votes
Glenda Marks, , Charlotte, NC
Mon Oct 12, 2009
Hi Tania,

If you offer has been accepted by the seller, and your offer is conditional on an acceptable home inspection and you and the seller cannot come to terms on the inspection repairs, you may cancel the contract utilizing a form provided by your agent (buyer's agent). This form will be prepared by your agent, signed by you, and passed on to the seller for their signature. All parties must be in agreement. Relative to your earnest money, it will depend on how the Offer to Purchase was prepared. Your agent should be able to explain all this to you. If you have questions that your agent cannot answer, please ask his/her broker in charge.

Good luck...

Glenda Marks
Marks Real Estate & Auction Co.
0 votes
Erica McClen…, , Raleigh, NC
Mon Oct 12, 2009
Sticky territory and technically none of us can give you advice since we're not attorney's. I'd suggest speaking with the Broker in Charge at your buyers agent's firm. You need to sit down and have full understanding of the situation you're in. If you're still not comfortable, contact an attorney.

If that was the only problem found with them home, it's a GREAT HOUSE!

Good luck!
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