When is it too late to back out of a offer on a house? It hasn't been accepted.

Asked by Wishsong, Chattanooga, TN Thu Feb 24, 2011

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42
Dave DeVos, Agent, Crossville, TN
Fri Feb 25, 2011
BEST ANSWER
Wishsong, Your earnest money is held by the broker of your agent. If the agent has the listing or is in the same brokerage as the listing agent, the escrow money is held by the listing broker. When you cancel the offer in writing, the earnest money should be returned to you. Check with your bank to see that the check has cleared; if not, stop payment. If the contract was written with contingencies, and it should be, the contingencies represent an escape for you with a full return of your earnest monies.

If this is a problem with Buyer's Remorse, think through your reasons for backing out of the offer. Be sure you are not missing a good opportunity. If your gut feeling is run; then run.
0 votes
Matthew Kren…, , Clarks Summit, PA
Thu Mar 3, 2011
You can back out anytime before closing. Just be prepared to pay the consequences. Good luck.
1 vote
what kind of consequences?
Flag Thu Jun 16, 2016
Tommie Easl…, Agent, Abilene, TX
Wed Mar 2, 2011
An offer is just what it is an offer you can back out any time.
1 vote
Debra Hicks, Agent, Chandler, AZ
Wed Mar 2, 2011
If the offer has not been accepted then your only obligation is to notify the listing agent that you are no longer interested and are backing out. Some states will require this in writing, others wont, but to CYA put it in writing. Best of luck on finding the right home.
1 vote
Gerard Dunn, Agent, Chevy Chase, MD
Wed Mar 2, 2011
Withdraw the offer in writing.

Good Luck !

Gerry Dunn
Associate Broker
Serving Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia
1 vote
Joe Folsom, Agent, Ellijay, GA
Fri Feb 25, 2011
Phil answered this question correctly. Any offer can be rescinded up and until the point there is an acceptance. Until there is an acceptance, there is no agreement. Therefore the original offer can be rescinded at any time before the offer is accepted OR any counter offer can be rescinded by the person making the counter up and until there is an acceptance. Therefore either party can rescind the offer they last made at any time before it is accepted. Regarding a dispute, I did not here any mention of a dispute. An offer that is rescinded before it is accepted is not a dispute. Regarding the need for an Attorney, until there is a dispute, why would you need an Attorney?
1 vote
Ellis Gardner, , Tennessee
Fri Feb 25, 2011
These questions are best answered by an attorney. As Realtors, we are highly trained in the process and the forms. But when it comes to a dispute, an attorney licensed in the state of the property is the safest council.
1 vote
Debra.lynch, Home Buyer, Chattanooga, TN
Wed Jun 1, 2016
My daughter signed a sales agreement on her home. Unfortunately, her oldest daughters father is contesting the move and now it looks like it is going to take months to resolve. When she informed the realtor their attorney got in touch with her and told her she owes the closing cost. She is willing to pay any out of pocket back to the buyers .
0 votes
James Wehner, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Wed Mar 9, 2011
Typically if an offer hasn't been accepted, then you should have to right to withdraw you offer. Make sure that you have your withdrawal in writing. Additionally, if you offer is accepted and depending on the language in the contract, you may have several contingencies for getting out of proceeding with the purchase.

Best of luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.jameswehner.com
0 votes
Connie De Gr…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Mar 9, 2011
In California, as the other Realtor mentioned, you can rescind at any time before acceptance has been communicated but if this point has passed then you do have a contingency period. The amount of time varies according to what both parties agreed but this exists for you to further investigate the property and your ability to afford and obtain a loan. For more information, check with a realtor you know and trust. You may also contact the real estate board in your state- in california it would be the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. They may be able to give you information as well.
0 votes
Alan Leary, Agent, Morehead City, NC
Tue Mar 8, 2011
Different states have different rules & laws regarding offers to purchase and contract, In North Carolina, you can rescind your offer at any time as long as it has not been accepted and you have not been conveyed that acceptance. After a contract is signed and agreed upon by all parties, and that acceptance has been conveyed to your or your agent, the stakes change and you may lose earnest money and or/be subject to specific performance/litigation. It is best to ask your REALTOR and to contact an attorney to make sure you are proceeding correctly. Very good question!

Alan Leary, Broker/REALTOR
Morehead City, North Carolina
0 votes
Joseph Hasti…, Agent, Bayside, NY
Tue Mar 8, 2011
Hi Wishsong. If your offer has not been accepted, you can recind your offer immediately. You've not signed a contract of sale or put up your deposit for escrow so you are not legally bound to anything.

If you submitted your offer directly to the owners just call them. If you worked with a broker, call him/her and they can call the owners. No harm, no foul. Don't sweat it. Good luck.
0 votes
Angela White, Agent, Saratoga, CA
Mon Mar 7, 2011
Your qualified experienced agent should be guiding you on your contract. If you don't have one of those, you will need advice from a professional so you don't lose your deposit. Since most contracts have timelines and stipulations for these situations, time is of the essence.
0 votes
Jim Garcia -…, Agent, Castle Rock, CO
Mon Mar 7, 2011
You can get out before it closes, but be careful. You may owe the broker commission since the broker did his/her job.
0 votes
Vincent Murp…, Agent, Boston, MA
Mon Mar 7, 2011
iF NOT ACCEPTED BY THE DATE YOU HAVE ON OFFER SHEET should not be a problem. The best way is always communicate with the agent and seller. If you have a problem get a lawyer.
0 votes
Andrea Mills, Agent, Sebring, FL
Mon Mar 7, 2011
I believe you can back out at any given time if you are willing to say good bye to your escrow. There is no law that forces you to buy a property at any given time.
Glad to hear you got out safely!
0 votes
Wishsong, Home Buyer, Chattanooga, TN
Sun Mar 6, 2011
Yes, Thank you very much everyone! I didn't realize there were so many more answers! We got out safely. Thanks everyone for the amazing response!
0 votes
Ellis Gardner, , Tennessee
Sun Mar 6, 2011
Has this adviced helped you?
0 votes
David Miles, Agent, Cumberland, RI
Sun Mar 6, 2011
It may be different in other states but in MA & RI where I practice if there has not been any communication of the offer being accepted then you can withdraw your offer without any penalties.
If the seller or seller's agent has indicated there is an agreement you are then in a VERY gray area. They could try to claim what ever deposit you out down with the offer.
In most circumstnaces if it's has been a short period of time most seller's will not attempt to keep the deposit but some will.

Dave Miles
RE/MAX
Web Reference:  http://DaveMilesHomeInfo.com
0 votes
Lorraine, , North Carolina
Fri Mar 4, 2011
All of these are great answers, but don't forget, if your agent (or the other agent) received communication and "did not" inform you in time (let's say the agent was notified that the offer was accepted and received the signed contracts on Friday evening, but doesn't convey that to you say until Monday morning), typically (somewhere in that contract) it will state something about "communicating/communication". If it was communicated to the agent (and that can mean the agent leaves a message with the secretary and the secretary takes the message.....it's been communicated, if you leave a voice mail message (it's been communicated), if it was commuincated via email or fax) then it's considered communicated (keep the confirmation page as proof). So, the sooner you communicate that to your agent in writing "before" you receive a communication/counter offer, etc., the better off you will be.
0 votes
Aliyah Marti…, Agent, Pembroke Pines, FL
Fri Mar 4, 2011
As long as the offer has not been executed by the seller. It is important to communicate this to the agent helping you with the offer as soon as possible. Buyer's change their mind all the time and this is referred as buyer remorse. Good luck and happy hunting.
0 votes
Larry Benede…, , Oakland, CA
Thu Mar 3, 2011
it is to late when you have released all your contingencies on the house.
0 votes
Tammy Blau -…, Agent, Beechhurst, NY
Thu Mar 3, 2011
It is too late to back out after you have a fully executed contract.
0 votes
I live in NY the offer was just accepted today and already having trouble financially with everything I need am I able to get out within the next few days without consequences?
Flag Yesterday at 8:21pm
James Lumento, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Shelton, CT
Wed Mar 2, 2011
All the advice you have received from the experts is right on the money. Although, there is one more opening even later in the deal to opt out. DO NOT WAIVE YOUR MORTGAGE CONTINGENCY CLAUSE. You will have to have just reason. For example a low appraisal,. your financial status has changed or the title search show irregularities.
Web Reference:  http://www.statefinance.com
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Mar 2, 2011
Confer with your buyers agent HOWEVER if you don't have an executed sales agreement SIGNED by both parties then you MIGHT be able to amend the sales offer offer stating you decline to purchase the home

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
972-699-9111
http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
Amy Piggee, Agent, Woodbury, MN
Wed Mar 2, 2011
If an offer has not been accepted, you do not have a legally binding contract. I would recomend your realtor rescind the offer in writing so there is a paper trail. Good luck!
0 votes
Raul Azpiazu, Agent, Towanda, PA
Wed Mar 2, 2011
In Pennsylvania there are a few ways a buyer can back out of the sales contract: 1) if the property does appraise for the LTV the contract states; 2) if after inspections are made there are unsatisfactory items that the buyer feels are detrimental to the sale; 3) if the title search reveals a cloud in the title; 4) if the lender denies the buyer's mortgage commintment in writing.
0 votes
Leading Edge…, , Petaluma, CA
Wed Mar 2, 2011
If the offer hasn't been accepted,, and the acceptance communicated to you, there is no obligation on your part to leave it out there. It can be retracted by noticing the Seller or Seller's agent in writing that the offer is retracted, right up UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED THAT IT IS ACCEPTED .
****AN OFFER IS NOT A CONTRACT UNTIL IT IS ACCEPTED. IT IS STILL NOT A CONTRACT UNTIL THAT ACCEPTANCE HAS BEEN COMMUNICATED BACK TO YOU. THAT IS WHY YOU ARE ASKED TO ACKNOWLEDGE, BY SIGNATURE, YOUR RECEIPT OF THE ACCEPTANCE, MAKING THE CONTRACT BINDING.****
Anyone who tells you that your offer cannot be retracted before you receive notice it is accepted, is trying to prevent you from doing something you are legally able to do, and they are probably not to be trusted for ANY advice or agency representation. If you are not given the absolute freedom to retract the offer before acceptance, you were possibly given inaccurate or manipulative encouragements to make the offer . Look to see who would benefit from you NOT retracting the offer. If this person is your agent, you have cause for legal action for violation of their Fiduciary Duty to you. They could lose their license, and owe you damages.
ALWAYS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE YOUR MIND IN YOUR MIND, UNLESS YOU HAVE MADE AN UNCONDITIONAL LEGAL OBLIGATION OR COMMITMENT. MOST PURCHASE CONTRACTS GIVE THE BUYER MORE CONTROL THAN THE SELLER, TO PROTECT THE BUYER, AS THEY DISCOVER IMPORTANT OBJECTIONS, INCLUDING DETAILS ABOUT THE PROPERTY, AND THE AVAILABILITY OF THEIR PURCHASE LOAN. BE AWARE OF CRITICAL DATES FOR OBJECTIONS, AND DO NOT DEPEND ON OTHER PERSONS TO TELL YOU TO OBJECT WITHIN THE TIME ALLOWED. KNOW EVERY TIME WHEN YOU CAN SAY NO, AND THERE ARE USUALLY MORE THAN ONE. ASK QUESTIONS ANY TIME YOU ARE UNSURE.
Web Reference:  HTTP://LEADINGEDGEPROP.COM
0 votes
Lorraine, , North Carolina
Tue Mar 1, 2011
Dave.....ya think so? Try looking at some other threads on Trulia. There's one on here that's had over 81 answers and it's still growing. So, don't be too bothered because most people are just now coming across this question, so expect the number to rise a bit more.
0 votes
Dave DeVos, Agent, Crossville, TN
Tue Mar 1, 2011
There are enough answers here.
0 votes
James Deskins, Agent, Worthington, OH
Tue Mar 1, 2011
When it IS accepted...that's the short answer. FYI, there has to be acceptance and NOTIFICATION of the acceptance of the offer . If it has been accepted but the other agent hasn't notified your agent yet you can still withdraw the offer.

I'm not an attorney. I suggest you get one, just to be safe.
0 votes
Alma Kee, Agent, Tampa, FL
Tue Mar 1, 2011
Immediately ask your agent to notify the listing agent that your offer has been withdrawn!
0 votes
Mary Carlson, Agent, Chattanooga, TN
Sat Feb 26, 2011
There is a time frame of how long your offer is good for. You should have a copy of the offer you submitted. You can withdraw your offer in writing before the time is expired. Most offers are good for 24-48 hours. Your Realtor is able to guide you through the process. Hope this answers your question.
0 votes
Phil Rotondo, Agent, Melbourne, FL
Fri Feb 25, 2011
No acceptance in writing with all the dates, initials, and signatures in place, than no contract, Formally notify the owner/owner's agent that your offer is rescinded and get confirmation of the cancellation.
Web Reference:  http://www.321property.com
0 votes
Belinda Spil…, Agent, Denver, CO
Fri Feb 25, 2011
Once you notify them in writing that you are canceling the contract (offer) you should have your agent prepare a earnest money release to get your money back.
0 votes
Lorraine, , North Carolina
Fri Feb 25, 2011
Each state has varying rules, regulations and laws pertaining to cancelling or withdrawing an offer/contract on a house. Your Agent or their Broker In Charge should be able to guide you through the process of what needs to happen in addition of informing you of any possible ramifications. Typically, most contracts/offer to purchase will have a time frame involved or refer to it as perhaps a "reasonable" time frame to respond to your offer. If you are looking to withdraw (and again check with your agent because contracts are different from state to state), make sure: #1, That the seller has in fact "NOT" signed the contract accepting your offer. Just because you haven't heard anything or recived anything back (copy of the signed contract to purchase) doesn't mean that it has not been accepted. It could mean that the agent on the other side has not returned it to you or your agent (same goes with your agent - if you have used one in this transaction). Regardless, if you want to withdraw your offer, I would suggest that you notify all parties involved, "in writing" of your intention to withdraw your offer and request for your EMD to be returned within x-amount of days. Typically these terms should be written within the contract itself anyway. If the seller has signed the contract, then in most cases (again depending on your state) the seller is not obligated to return your EMD. It sounds to be as though you may have not used an agent to begin with or perhaps you just did not mention that in your original question. If you "did not" use a Real Estate Agent, I would suggest that you consult a local Real Estate Attorney to find out how you proceed.
0 votes
Wishsong, Home Buyer, Chattanooga, TN
Fri Feb 25, 2011
Thanks everyone. Next question would be; we paid earnest money. Would we be getting that back? ( in the esteemed opinion of you guys) basically we just started this week with the offer.
0 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Thu Feb 24, 2011
Prudent for you to call your agent ASAP and ask to Cancel the contract.

Good luck.
Perry
0 votes
Becky Cope E…, Agent, Ooltewah, TN
Thu Feb 24, 2011
If you are working with a Realtor, you should be able to ask this question and get a quick response. In any event, you should have a copy of the offer that you submitted. Take a look at the verbiage to see what it says. Typically, when you work with a Realtor (who uses a TN approved TAR form), the language says that "This offer may be withdrawn at any time before acceptance with Notice. Offer terminates if not countered or accepted by____."

It is like walking on pins and needles to wait for a response, but limiting the timeframe for a response can ease this feeling of uncertainty. If you want to back out, all you need to do is send a formal response that you are withdrawing your offer. If you are working with a Realtor, this can be handled through a Notification in writing. What is deemed "acceptable notification" depends on the contract that you are working with. Be careful not to make an offer on another property until you are sure your previous offer is expired or terminated. I've heard of a few people who accidentally bought two homes!

I sincerely hope this helps. Best of luck!
0 votes
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Thu Feb 24, 2011
No signed contract, no deal!
0 votes
Ryan King, Agent, Chattanooga, TN
Thu Feb 24, 2011
Wishing, it is not to late. Just make sure that you have it in writing in email or letter asking to rescind your offer. No biggie.

Ryan King
Keller Williams Realty
(423) 664-1900 Office
(423) 595-7958 Direct


Ryan King
Web Reference:  http://www.realtorryan.com
0 votes
Tina Evans, Agent, Cookeville, TN
Thu Feb 24, 2011
Call your agent now and have them email, text, call the other agent that you are withdrawing your offer immediately. As long as the seller has not signed the offer, you're fine. Discuss your reasons first with your agent to ensure you are within contractural rights to withdraw....
Good luck,
Tina Evans, Broker
Crye-Leike Realtors/Cookeville, TN
Web Reference:  http://www.tinaevans.net
0 votes
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