Unlike the images on TV of carefree house hunters who find the perfect home with little effort, your experience hasn't been as easy. The long search for a new home was only the beginning of your frustrations. Next came the struggle to find appropriate financing, the home inspections and the dozens of legal bases to cover before the property becomes yours.
The purchase of a new home is stressful enough without having to worry about whether the owner of the house will follow through with the deal. However, if this is the situation, you may be wondering if you have any rights. Depending on the circumstances, the seller of the house may have clearly violated your rights, but you will have to decide if you want to pursue the cause.
Did we have a deal?
Your contract is the starting point in determining whether the homeowner is in the wrong by backing out of the sale. First of all, neglecting to sign a contract may be a big mistake when purchasing a home. Even if you know the seller and agree to terms verbally, not having a legal document may leave you with few options if the seller breaks those terms.
If you did sign a contract agreeing to purchase the property, the contract may include contingencies that allow the seller to legally renege on the deal, for example:
- The seller is unable to find a satisfactory home.
- You are unable to obtain financing within an agreed-upon time limited.
- Your inspection revealed repairs the seller refuses to make.
- The seller's attorney recommends voiding the deal within the contract review period.
- You don't adhere to all the terms in the contract.
- The seller includes escape clauses within the contract.
A careful reading of the contract will reveal those escape clauses, such as a better offer coming along or another buyer offering cash. Vague language in the contract may allow the seller to opt out for reasons less universally accepted.
If the seller of the home you want to buy does not follow through with the contracted purchase, you may have cause to pursue legal satisfaction. Sellers cannot back out simply because they have changed their minds or other reasons not stipulated in the contract. You may be able to force the seller to complete the sale or at least seek compensation for the money you spent preparing for the purchase. A Texas attorney can review your contract and advise you on the best course of action.