3 questions buyer should ask before canceling purchase

REThink Real Estate

By Inman News Feed
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Mar. 1, 2012

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While that sounds bad, it could actually be even worse if you did not agree to liquidated damages, if the value of the home has declined in the time you were in contract.

Then, an arbitrator or judge could decide that the seller's damages from your breach of the contract should be quantified by the amount of how much value the home lost while she had it off the market, waiting for you to close the deal.

On the other hand, if the home is in one of the rare areas of the country that has actually appreciated in recent months, the seller's actual damages might be much smaller, if she is found to have had any damages at all.

That said, the news it not all bad. If you're still interested in the home, consult with your attorney and your broker about whether it makes sense to offer to close the transaction if the seller can provide you with visual and written documentation that the repairs have been completed.

If you're no longer interested in the home, that's OK, too, but know that unless the repairs were material, you might be on the hook for the seller's damages.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is author of "The Savvy Woman's Homebuying Handbook" and "Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions." Tara is also the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Trulia.com. Ask her a real estate question online or visit her website, www.rethinkrealestate.com.


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