it is possible to back out of a purchase of a HUD home right before closing? Is there any possibility of getting my earnest money back?

Asked by Gina, Tacoma, WA Mon Nov 7, 2011

The house has been broken into a few times and now we're scared to buy it.

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Don Dutton, Agent, Puyallup, WA
Mon Nov 7, 2011
HUD is usually generous about giving earnest money back but you will need a reason for termination that makes sense to them. Speak with your agent about why you want to back out. Break-ins are common in vacant homes. That will probably not be your experience when you move in. You can call the police department and find out if the neighborhood has a bad history for crime. Please don't follow advice of agents who know nothing about your transaction. Your agent should be answering this question for you.

Good luck Gina.
0 votes
Jirius Isaac, Agent, Kenmore, WA
Tue Nov 8, 2011
I agree with you, if you don't feel it any more don't buy it. Ernest money may come back if you are lucky, but better to lose that then to have a problem you do not want. good luck to you.
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Phil Leng, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Mon Nov 7, 2011
Hi Gina,
Simple question.
Simple answer.
1. Yes
2. No
0 votes
Alain Picard, Agent, Puyallup, WA
Mon Nov 7, 2011
Yeah I would have your agent talk with their agent and let them know what's going on. Anything is possible however from what it sounds like you are under contract and you could lose your earnest money. It will be up to HUD.
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Kary Krismer, Agent, Renton, WA
Mon Nov 7, 2011
HUD uses it's own contracts, and I'm not familiar with them and don't want to look up their current forms. My concern would be that possibly more than your earnest money is at stake. Many bank type entities have contract provisions which allow them to either keep your earnest money or sue you for the difference in what you offered to pay and what they ultimately sell the house for. Under such a contract, getting your earnest money back could actually be a bad thing! You should consult an attorney and let them review the language of your contract to determine both your ability to back out and your risk if you do.

I think Don below also offers some good advice. Vacant homes are magnets for crime, and I wouldn't necessarily worry just because the house was broken into. That can happen in the best of neighborhoods with a vacant listing. Check the police stats for the area where your house was located.
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Jean Bradford, Agent, Silverdale, WA
Mon Nov 7, 2011
Hi, Gina,

The answer depends upon your reason to "back out". You should ask your Realtor and the Designated Broker if you have a legal reason to cancel the sale, and if not satisfied, take that file to an attorney. A small fee for his opinion would probably be worth the expense, if it comes to that.

Good Luck,
Jean Bradford
John L. Scott RE
Silverdale, WA
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Tim Page, , 99037
Mon Nov 7, 2011
If you've changed your mind, back out. It's better to lose $1000 earnest money then to buy a problem. I backed out of one deal before and the Realtor was able to get my earnest money back. He didn't have to though, but now I'm really glad I backed out. Don't buy until you get that fuzzy feeling inside and that's the good fuzy feeling.
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