Real estate contracts are a good way to sell right now, but there are lots of pitfalls for both sides, so you need to carefully navigate, something a good real estate professional or attorney can help you with. And do not let one agent represent both sides when a real estaet contract is involved. As the seller, you are well protected by most contracts in use in NM, but the best way to mitigate your risks is to get a large downpayment (at least 10%), so that the seller has skin in the game and even if they disregard that and trash the house and walk away (less likely with more money down), you will have enough money to fix up the house and sell again. Simply stated, the lower the downpayment, the higher the risk, but there are some more complexities than that, such as how to ensure your lender does not call your loan due (rare now, but could change in a few years).. Just email, text, or call me anytime and I will gladly provide some valuable advice with no cost or obligation. As for backing out before closing, the risks are similar to any other transactions, and you need earnest money. Best of luck Sylena!