Can you walk away from a house deal?

Posted: November 20, 2012 in Buyers
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Your family has come to the place where you need to sell your home and move on to the next phase of your life whether that be to updrade to a larger house or downgrade to a smaller one if you are empty nesters. This can be a tough decision, but once made and the ball is rolling, you may not be able to change your mind.

The Ontario real estate contract gives a buyer 24 hours to pay the deposit, once the offer is accepted by the seller. The buyer cannot just change their mind or they can be sued.

Most real estate contracts are conditional on the buyer being able to get a mortgage and being satisfied with a home inspection and insurance. Other conditions might include being satisfied with a condominium status certificate when buying a resale condo.

Many buyers think these conditions give them the right to just change their minds. It is not that easy. Buyers must try and satisfy any condition in good faith. This means that you need a legitimate reason why you found the home inspection report or condominium status certificate unsatisfactory.

There are some “legal” ways to get out of a deal but the oven not working is not one of them. If there has been substantial damage to a property before closing, such as a flood that was not repaired could be a good reason. Undisclosed easement could be a legal way but if the seller has title insurance to protect the buyer, then the buyer cannot refuse to close. 

Using an Accredited Buyer’s Representative for your home purchase will swing the scale in your favour. The ABR®  is a designation that is only awarded to licensed real estate professionals who complete specialized training that gives them the edge in understanding a buyer’s perspective and protecting and promoting their buyer-clients’ interests. Before earning the ABR® designation, buyer’s reps must also demonstrate proven experience in representing buyers. Further, they are commited to maintaining their professional edge by staying current on the latest issues and trends in buyer representation. 

In all cases being serious and careful about the purchase of a home should occur before you sign the dotted line. Changing your mind after could cost you plenty.

Dale Dyer is a Cambridge, Kitchener-Waterloo Realtor® and Accredited Buyers’ Representative®.

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