can a seller cancel an aceptance of a offer,in less than three days?

Asked by James Gill, Kennewick, WA Wed Oct 26, 2011

accepted an offer to purchase, changed mind with in twenty four hours, can the buyer force sale?

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Jirius Isaac’s answer
Jirius Isaac, Agent, Kenmore, WA
Wed Oct 26, 2011
In order to answer a question like this, I would need to see the contract you have. Even then, since I am not your agent, I cannot give you any legal advice. Contact a real estate attorney immediately.
0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Wed Oct 26, 2011
The "Three Day Rule" was created for people dealing with door to door salespeople and was later added to cover Time Share presentations. The principle is to allow consumers to get away from a pressure sales pitch in a place where they do not normally do business and come to their senses.
The standard Real Estate Contracts we use in Washington do not have a built in cancelation period. It's assumed that if you listed your home for sale with an agent, entertained showings, received an offer and signed it, that you meant to do that.
Now, I haven't seen your contract so I can't tell you what yours actually says, but I'm doubtful yours contains such a clause.
Your options at this point would be to ask to be released, if you have a sudden change of employment or health which complicates your situation you may find a compassionate buyer. You can refuse any changes due to inspection or extensions and use the contract to your advantage where possible, making the sale unattractive to the buyer. You can consult an attorney (which you should do regardless) to explore all of your options.
If the reason you want to cancel is to accept another offer for more money, be careful. Back up offers aren't always as secure as they seem. You could end up without any offers if you get too cute.
2 votes
Kenmore Team, Agent, Kennewick, WA
Wed Oct 26, 2011
Jim - Adina below gave a great response, there are not many instances that a seller can "change their mind" that is why they have contracts. Good bad or indifferent our purchase and Sale agreements usually only allows one option for a seller to terminate and that is after financing was not waived, this is a very specific instance and usually has a 30 day timetable.
Best advice in this situation is consult with your agent who more than likely in this case will end up referring you to a good real estate attorney. I've seen some people do some creative things to get out of these situations like for instance offering the buyer a small amount for their troubles and executing some sort of release - however only attorneys can advise how to do this properly and legally. Tough situation.
1 vote
Kary Krismer, Agent, Renton, WA
Wed Oct 26, 2011
As the first answer noted, this is an attorney question. As other answers have noted, there really isn't enough information.

In addition to the issue of they buyer suing you for damages (a judgment) or specific performance (an order forcing you to sell), one other issue is you possibly will owe the commission to both agents on the sale. Your listing agreement probably indicated in some manner that you would pay a commission if a buyer was found for your property. One was found and you would be backing out of the deal without excuse. Again though, that would also require a review of your listing agreement. I just wanted to through out that as an additional possible element of damages.
0 votes
Tonya Brobeck, , Everett, WA
Wed Oct 26, 2011
The offer is signed around already? Why would you want to cancel the PSA? We can't see your contract or the details within but your best bet is to contact your broker and let them advise you. There generally isn't a clause to release seller from contract unless there's a financing contingency, inspection contingency etc that allows you out. For the most part the seller can be released if the transaction doesn't close on it's closing date listed in the PSA
0 votes
Alex Burden, Agent, Kennewick, WA
Wed Oct 26, 2011
Hi Jim, if you had a fully signed around contract then the buyer can take you to court to and sue for specific performance of the contract. Not many buyers are likely to do this but it is an option that they have.
0 votes
Adina Brooke, Agent, Kennewick, WA
Wed Oct 26, 2011
I am sorry Jim, but for me your question does not have enough information to answer it appropriately. IF the offer was accepted and signed around by all parties involved, then the details of why they cancelled would be important. Technically no...they cannot. I would need more details though to be sure of what to say here.
IF the above conditions exist then consulting an attorney would be a good idea as it is not a good idea for your agent (or me) to give you legal advice.
If you would like to give more information I can be of more help.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Wed Oct 26, 2011
The important question is whether you had a CONTRACT or not.
The saying goes: A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on.
You don't say.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes
Karen Parsons…, Agent, Laguna Beach, CA
Wed Oct 26, 2011
Hi Jim,

Talk to your California, when we have acceptance and opened escrow we have a deal, they cannot change their minds. I'm not sure about your location....but get your agent and if necessary...their broker involved and push to get the home.

Hope it works out for you...frustrating,

0 votes
Jean Bradford, Agent, Silverdale, WA
Wed Oct 26, 2011
Hi, Jim,

A seller cannot be forced to sell a home; but a buyer may have grounds for damages in some cases.
This is an "attorney question", based on the individual details. You may have legitimate reasons to cancel.

Best Regards,
Jean Bradford, ABR,GRI,CRS,CRB,SFR
John L. Scott
Silverdale, WA 98383
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed Oct 26, 2011
What is your agent advising. Unless an executed contract exists, signed by all parties and deposit money was exchanged, the seller is free to change his/her mind; consult with your agent, and or attorney....
0 votes
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