Home Selling in Mill Valley>Question Details

Dylan, Both Buyer and Seller in 94118

Can seller get out of contract to sell house?

Asked by Dylan, 94118 Wed Feb 20, 2013

I have a friend (really, it's not me) in Marin County who signed docs to sell last Friday but had a change of heart over the holiday weekend. She informed her agents on Monday that she didn't want to go through with the sale. The buyer refuses to back out of the transaction. Does the seller have any recourse to cancel the sale?

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this is a question for an attorney. If buyer has removed all contingencies and is closing on time, seller really has no alternative than to close the sale. BUyer could sue for "specific performance". If seller has encountered a hardship, he may be able to appeal to the buyer for sympathy to his situaiton In a sistuation where a buyer removed all his contingencies and decides not to complete the sale for no valid reason he would be liable to pay "liquidated damages" to the seller.
Another consideration is that seller may be responsible to pay the listing agent a commission.
It depends how the listing contract is written. Again, an attorney is the best person to talk to in this situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
Thanks for both of your answers. No contingencies have been removed because it is still very early in the process, Nevertheless I understand that transactions vary and an attorney can best evaluate.
Flag Wed Feb 20, 2013
We always refer this question to an attorney.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Generally no, however if the buyer does not comply with any element of the contract, you can serve them with a notice to perform (2 days) and if after the notice period they have not complied you may cancel the contract. I would recommend a consultation with a local real estate attorney to review the specifics of the contract. THe best hope to get out of the transaction is if the buyer asks for any concessions after their inspection period...and that they walk if you say no. Perhaps your friend can offer some compensation in exchange for cancelling the contract and see if the buyer will agree. Before taking any action I would advise her to speak to an attorney about her options that is a tough situation to be in.
Good luck!!
Melissa
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
I agree with Wayka. The only exception would be if your friend is doing a short-sale. There are some circumstances where a seller has a right to rescind in those cases. A consultation with a real estate attorney is money well spent here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
If you used the standard California Residential Purchase Contract, the seller really can't cancel. The seller can refuse to do requested repairs that might cause a buyer to back out...but typically no, the seller is locked in.

I've seen this before...buyer and sellers forget that real estate contracts ARE REAL CONTRACTS. They are legally binding!

Of course, the advise to consult with an attorney is not a bad one....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
If you used the standard California Residential Purchase Contract, the seller really can't cancel. The seller can refuse to do requested repairs that might cause a buyer to back out...but typically no, the seller is locked in.

I've seen this before...buyer and sellers forget that real estate contracts ARE REAL CONTRACTS. They are legally binding!

Of course, the advise to consult with an attorney is not a bad one....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
Hi Dylan,

Have your friend contact a Real Estate Attorney and have all signed paperwork available.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
http://www.RealtyBySR.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2013
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