If I asked for an amendment to our purchase contract, can the seller back out?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I asked for an amendment to our purchase contract, can the seller back out?

I have a signed contract. Within the 10 days of signing I had an inspection and asked for some fixes. The sellers didn’t agree to all the fixes so I went back to them with a different solution/amendment. At this point, if they

choose not to fix – do they have the opportunity to back out of the contract altogether? My agent said they could back out. I was under the impression they could say no to the amendments but still had the purchase agreement as it was set in stone.

Asked on October 5, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You are correct: while making a counteroffer *before* the contract is signed invalidates the original offer and lets the other party "back out," once a contract is signed, both parties are held to it as signed. They can voluntarily choose to amend or revise or even revoke it post signing, but that is voluntary and requires the agreement of both parties. If they cannot agree on an amendment, etc. the contract as signed stands.

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