Backout of selling your home

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Backout of selling your home

My mother who is 84 and suffers from depression takes Zoloft entered into an
agreement to sell her vacation home and now wants to back out of the deal
realizing it was a mistake. Can she back out?

Asked on June 25, 2019 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, deciding it was a mistake, or your mother's age, or even her depression UNLESS it can be shown by medical evidence that it so affected her that she lacked mental capacity when she entered into the contract, will not let her get out of the contract to sell. (If she was not mentally competent, then that would void the contract, since only mentally competent people can enter into contracts, but that is very "high bar" to get over--very few people are so affected by mental illness as to lack mental capacity.)
Typically, you can only get out of a contract if 1) the other side breaches, or violates, it in some material, or important, way, such as by not paying what they are supposed to pay when they should pay it; or 2) there is some provision in the contract which by its plain terms would let her cancel or terminate it. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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