Can I still back out of contract if one of the sellers has not yet signed off on an addendum?

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I still back out of contract if one of the sellers has not yet signed off on an addendum?

The property for sale is from a divorce where both he and she must sign off on everything. The contract addendum has been delivered to the sellers and verbally agreed to by both (I think) and signed by her. He, however, has yet to sign it. And, even though the inspections are done the repairs have already been performed, if he doesn’t sign off on the contract addendum before the deadline for doing so, can I get out without unscathed? Or is there a real chance of not only losing my earnest money but also losing a breach of contract suit?

Asked on July 28, 2011 Ohio


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Technically, an addendum is a piece of paper adding new terms to an already existing contract between the parties in my experience. Meaning, the parties already have a valid contract. Something else has popped up after the contract has been entered into and the parties want it to be part of the agreement via an addendum.

An addendum is different than a counter offer. A counter offer is a document exchanging a new proposal between people who are not in contract.

If there is a liquidated damage clause in the agreement and you do not want to close escrow, you can end up possibly losing your deposit if characterized as liquidated damages and not have to worry about a breach of contract action of the seller ends up selling the property later for an amount below what you agreed to.

If the husband does not sign the addendum, as opposed to a counter offer, most likely you still have to close escrow under the terms that have been agreed to or risk losing your deposit. You just do not get what you want in the addendum.

If you have a real estate agent representing you, consult with him or her further about your question. If not, consult with a real estate attorney to read your contract and the addendum.

Good luck.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption