We sold our house for 100k over asking, buyer seems to want to back out. Can the buyer really just walk away and we need to relist and take less?

Category: Houses


Hi David, 

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. 



Hi Mark,

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.




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  1. Condodweller says:

    Hi Mark,

    I wouldn’t assume the person wants out of the deal by asking for an extension unless you have more info but then why would they ask for an extension? Perhaps they bought first and just need breathing room to sell their place. Asking for additional deposit in order to extend seems like a good idea.

  2. H. Marshall says:

    I suppose everything depends on the size of the deposit.

  3. Miranda Christoff says:

    Hi Mark,

    I was surprised to see Reco has changed their policy on full disclosure of grow ops. How do you think this will affect future home sales for buyers possibly unaware of the situation? What are your thoughts?

    1. H. Marshall says:

      Hi Miranda;
      Do you know something the rest of us are not aware of?