How can I get out of real estate contract without penalty as a buyer?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How can I get out of real estate contract without penalty as a buyer?

Hell I would like to terminate my real estate contract due to a change in my job status which means that I am going to be retired from my job within 24 months.

Asked on June 17, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The only ways to get out of the contract without penalty are:
1) If there is some contingency in the sale contract, like a finance or inspection contingency, which would let you get out under these circumstances or at this time and you fully comply with its requirements.
2) The seller breaches or violates the contract in some material, or important, way, such as not being able to close or transfer good title, since one party's material breach of contact will allow the other party to terminate without penalty.
3) The seller committed fraud, or lied about something important, to get you to buy from them, such as not disclosing that the home is in a flood plain, lying about the amenities available or the type of sewage (e.g. septic vs. public sewer), since fraud provides a basis to void a contract. 
Otherwise, you are locked into the contract and if you breach it, they can at a minimum keep your deposit. In particular, the change in your job status is not a legal basis to get out of the contract.

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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