Can We Back Out of a Signed Purchase Contract?

Q: Gerald, my wife and I recently signed a contract to buy a home, but we just found another home we like much better. Gary, New Rochelle, NY

A: Hi Gary, normally when you sign a contract you are bound to perform based on the terms of the contract. However, most standard real estate contracts contain contingency clauses that may give you room to back out. The 2 most common contingencies that appear in written real estate contracts are mortgage contingencies and an inspection contingencies. If, for example, your purchase contract has a mortgage contingency and you can demonstrate that you were unable to obtain a mortgage or if your contract has an inspection clause and the seller is unable or unwilling to address issues arising from your home inspection, you may be able to get out of your contract. I suggest you consult a real estate attorney in your local area to make sure. Thanks for your question, Gary and good luck. For more real estate tips and for information on my real estate coaching program, visit I’m Gerald Lucas and I’ll see you again soon.