Can a Seller Back Out of a Contract?

So many words have been spent over the years on the concept of buyers’ remorse and yet sellers’ remorse does exist.

The problem is the Arizona Association of REALTORS Residential Real Estate Resale Purchase Contract doesn’t allow for it.

Once a seller signs of on a contract to make it executed, there are no outs. Buyers have several points in which they can change their mind, the seller has zero.

This isn’t to say that a seller who accepted a contract absolutely must sell – no one can force you at gunpoint to do so. But changing one’s mind turns a simple sale into a legal minefield where the best ally a seller can have is a real estate attorney as there may be damages due the buyer.

Which all makes the best advice this – if you’re putting your home on the market, and if you’re about to sign a contract to sell the place, make sure you’re ready. Because you really do need to be.

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Can A Seller Back Out of a Purchase Contract

Another common question from sellers is whether the seller can change their mind once they’ve signed and executed a purchase contract.

There’s a two-part answer for this one. Yes, the seller can change their mind and refuse to sell. No one can force a seller to sign the deed, no one can force the seller to honor the contract – well, theoretically a judge or mediator can but I’ve not heard of it happening.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be ramifications if a seller simply changes his mind. Think of the expenses borne by the buyer – an appraisal, home inspections, possibly moving costs. It’s conceivable a seller could be responsible for all of these if they are in breach of the contract, if not more once damages are considered.

Bottom line is before a seller decides not to sell after an executed purchase contract is in place, that seller needs to talk to a real estate attorney post haste to find out what the ramifications of such an action might be.

Talking to your agent isn’t going to be sufficient – we’re expert in bringing buyers and sellers together and getting the contract executed; the best way to break that contract is in the purview of the attorneys.

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