The buyer agent just sent me a fax to void a contract after home inspection. Can the buyer back out of the contract without explaining details?

Asked by Fineblush, Potomac, MD Mon Jan 11, 2010

The fax cover said that the buyer wanted to cancel the contract not telling the reason. It also asked me to sign a release form of honest money deposit.

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7
Alex Saenger, Agent, Rockville, MD
Mon Jan 11, 2010
Chances are, the contract is void. If you have an agent, ask them to go over the fax. If not, you can seek advice form an agent who services Potomac, MD and they can review the documents for you and give you an opinion.

I do service Potomac, and my office is in the heart of Potomac at River and Falls Roads. I will be in the office tomorrow if you would like I can take a look for you then.

Alex Saenger
Realtor & Internet Marketing Specialist
Serving Potomac Maryland, Montgomery County and surrounding areas in Maryland.
Web Reference:  http://www.AlexSaenger.com
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Mon Jan 11, 2010
I do not know Maryland contract forms. In California part of the standard boiler plate is that IF the buyer cancels due to an inspection issue the buyer agrees to give a copy of the report to the seller.

In most states purchase contracts are written to protect buyers. The only advice that is applicable would be from someone (like your Realtor ) who is familiar with the paperwork and can answer your questions.
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Mon Jan 11, 2010
I do not know Maryland contract forms. In California part of the standard boiler plate is that IF the buyer cancels due to an inspection issue the buyer agrees to give a copy of the report to the seller.

In most states purchase contracts are written to protect buyers. The only advice that is applicable would be from someone (like your Realtor ) who is familiar with the paperwork and can answer your questions.
0 votes
Bruce Lemieux, Agent, Gaithersburg, MD
Mon Jan 11, 2010
Hi - If your contract used the standard "Addendum of Clauses" form, then look on the first page. Most buyers/sellers agree to the first option. This allows the buyer to inspect the property and negotiate with the seller on repairs/issues that the seller is not required to address. This inspection option also allows the buyer to simply void the contract without giving a reason. There are two other primary inspection contingency that you'll see on that page -- a general inspection contingency and "as-is" clause. Take a look at your contract and speak to your listing agent.

If you agreed to a routine inspection contingency, should a buyer be required to provide a valid reason to void a contract? No - they should not. Here's why - the home must meet the buyer's own *subjective* criteria when making a purchase. The buyer may discover a feature of a home that's very important to him/her, but insignificant to the seller. Buyer and seller would rarely agree on what constitutes a "valid" reason to void a contract based on a property's condition, so ultimately it comes down to the buyer's opinion only.

Can the buyer use this language to simply void a contract because he changes his mind? Yes, he can. This is an unavoidable consequence of this language.

Again - take a look at *your* contract. If you don't have a listing agent, you should consult with your closing attorney about your specific status.

Good luck with your sale.
0 votes
Gary J. Rudd…, Agent, Gaithersburg, MD
Mon Jan 11, 2010
Fineblush:

I must assume that they are using the GCAAR Addendum of Clauses. If that is the case, and if all parties initialed Paragraph #1 of the Addendum of Clauses...The answer is YES, they can declare the contract Null and Void. Please see Paragraph #1/Section B....which allows them to declare the contract null and void within the time frame that was negotiated. The buyer agent is following normal protocal in asking you to sign the release document to return the earnest money deposit.

I know this is not the answer which you wish to see, but I predict I have answered your question.

Sincerely,

Gary J. Rudden, Broker/Owner
Congressional Residential Realty, LLC
Web Reference:  http://www.crrealty.net/
0 votes
User One, , Juneau, AK
Mon Jan 11, 2010
I WOULD RECOMMEND READING THE ORIGINAL CONTRACT. SPECIFICALLY THE HOME INSPECTION ADDENDUM. iT SHOULD CLEARY STATE IF THE CONTRACT CAN BE VOIDED BY THE PURCHASER AND WHAT OBLIGATION THEY HAVE IF ANY TO SHARE THIER INSPECTION REPORT.
PS IS THIS A FOR SALE BY OWNER OR DID YOU HAVE A LISTING AGENT?
0 votes
Guy Gimenez, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Jan 11, 2010
You need to reference your contract.

In most cases, a purchaser will retain the contractual right to terminate a contract during an "option" or "feasibility" period without being forced to give any reason because the purchaser paid for this right in advance.
Web Reference:  http://www.phgbrokers.com
0 votes
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