Is there an expiration on a real estate contract, if the buyer cancels closing?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is there an expiration on a real estate contract, if the buyer cancels closing?

The only original copy of contract was
signed by sellers. When they handed to
buyer to sign, he walked out of the
meeting, stating that he would have his
attorney look at the contract. A closing
date was set agreed upon by both
parties. Buyer had no further contact
with seller but cancelled with the
closing agency 3 days before closing.
He will not return contract and refuses
to speak to seller. Seller only wants the
signed contract returned.

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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The contract is terminated, based on what you indicate. The closing date is a material, or important, term of the contract. When one party to a contract violates a material term, that breach of contract allows the other party to treat the contract as terminated. Therefore, his failure to close--even more, his cancellation of the close, which is an active repudiation of the contract--would terminate the contract. You can't force him to give you the copy back, but it has no more effect or force based on what you write.

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