Can a seller back out of a contract?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a seller back out of a contract?

I am purchasing a home and just found out that
the seller is wanting to back out of the deal
because someone else offered to pay 10k
under the table. Can the seller back out of our
signed contract?

Asked on July 19, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

They can only out of the contract if--
1) There is some term or provision in the contract (like some "cancellation" term) which allows them to do so, and they fully comply with any requirements of that term or provision; or 
2) You (the buyer) breach the contract in some material, or important way, such as by not paying or depositing some amount you are supposed to or failing to close on time, since a material breach lets the other party terminate a contract.
Otherwise, he is obligated to the contract, and you can enforce it in court, if necessary.

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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