We sold a house (as is, where is) in May for 100k over asking with a mid June close. The offer was cash no conditions. No communication until the day of the close, then a request for a 60 day extension. Obviously the buyer now thinks they paid too much and wants out. Our lawyer has his deposit.
Five lawyers will give you five different answers here, but they’ll say basically the same thing: the buyer cannot opt out of the deal, unless he can prove some sort of misrepresentation.
And for that to happen, the buyer would have to first breach the contract, which exposes him or her to the loss of the deposit.
The deposit cannot be released without a mutual release or a court order, so it could tie both of you up for some time.
The issue on your end, is that you’re not able to resell the property until you have a mutual release, or that court order to release the deposit. So if the buyer opts to go to court, you’re stuck waiting.
To answer your specific question, “Can the buyer just walk away,” absolutely not.
If I were you, I would not grant the extension. If they can’t, won’t, or don’t close, then they are in breach, and you can begin legal action to keep their deposit.
The only way you should ever consider granting the extension is if they provided more deposit money, to be held in trust. That’s a classic “Put your money where your mouth is” move.