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Reasons you may be able to back out of a purchase

If your offer on a home is accepted, you typically are locked in and you have to buy the home. The reasoning here is that the seller will take it off of the market or turn other buyers away, so if you then walk, you have cost the seller other potential sales. They'll hold the house for you with an accepted offer, and you have to repay that kindness by actually buying the house.

However, things don't always work out the way you hoped they would, and there are some reasons you can legally back out of the sale. Your contract could include a clause saying that you can step away if you lose your job, for example, or if you can't get a mortgage. These could be tied together; losing your job could cause the bank to turn you down for a mortgage, and then you won't be able to buy the home even if you wanted to.

There could also be a clause saying that the sale is contingent on the home inspection. If the house fails the inspection, especially if there are issues that the seller tried to hide, you can walk.

Some buyers will even ask for a clause that says they can walk away from the purchase if they don't sell their old home. You may not be able to afford owning two houses, after all, even for a month. After the offer is accepted, you'll then try to sell your current house in the next month or so, but you may want to use this clause if you don't sell.

Naturally, all contracts are different, so don't assume these clauses exist. Instead, look over the paperwork carefully and be sure you know just what options you have in Arizona.

Source: Bankrate, "My offer was accepted; how can I back out?," Steve McLinden, accessed Sep. 08, 2016

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  • Paul Faith David Ledyard Distinguished AV | Peer Review Rated | LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell | For Ethical Standards & Legal Ability

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