Welcome to my world! Every agent has many stories about buyers who don't do what they say they will, it happens too often.
Your purchase contract probably called for the buyer to place their deposit into escrow within three days of you accepting their offer. I presume three days have passed. Your agent should issue a "Notice to Perform" instructing the buyers that if they do not place their money in escrow you will cancel the deal. The purchase contract specifies how long the buyers have to perform once you have given them this notice, it is probably 48 hours. Once the time frame passes, you are free to accept another offer.
You probably won't have any problems with the first buyers changing their mind and suddenly wanting to buy your home but just to be sure you should follow the steps outlined above. Good luck with your next set of buyers...
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
The documentation of reasonable effort is the issuance of the Notice to Perform and subsequently the Notice of Cancellation documenting the reason for the cancellation.
The only real purpose of the Cancellation of Contract, Release of Deposit, and Joint Escrow Instructions as described in paragraph 14. E Titled "Effect of Cancellation on Deposits" is to give the escrow company instructions as to the release of the deposit made into escrow and to cancel the escrow. If the buyer never made a deposit, there is really no need to have the buyer sign the Cancellation of Contract, Release of Deposit, and Joint Escrow Instructions form. The contract is cancelled as soon as the seller provides written notice of cancellation to the seller.
It is correct that it would be a good idea to try and get the buyer to acknowledge in writing the cancellation of the contract and escrow, but it really is not required to cancel the contract.
Can you entertain another offer? Sure...but without the contract cancellation signed by the first buyer, there maybe a risk you run and counsel of a trusted attorney maybe in order here just to make sure you don't end up in a mess.
Just because the buyer breaches the contract and for that matter fails to perform doesn't mean the seller is free of their obligations to the buyer under the contract. Do everything you can to get the signatures....there are people out there that create situations like this simply to extort money out of innocent home sellers. What can happen is you go into escrow with another party and then these buyers show back up in the picture with their contract and stall you new deal until you pay them to go away so you can sell to the new buyers. That might not be the case here, but it isn't worth taking the chance.
I don't agree with Dennis' statement that once 48 hours has passed on the Notice to Perform, you are free to accept another offer. Once the 48 hours has passed, you present them with the cancellation of contract - but the contract is not officially cancelled until they sign the cancellation form. Verbal doesn't cut it.
CA DRE 01775528