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Can a buyer back out after an offer is accepted?

There are many challenges associated with a real estate transaction. Even when everything is going as planned, it only takes one mix up to throw everything into a state of disarray.

Once a contract is signed, the buyer and seller are expected to abide by the terms and conditions until the deal is complete. If a seller decides to back out of a deal after signing on the dotted line, it could lead to quite a bit of trouble.

It is not often that a buyer is ordered to purchase a home if he or she does not want to move forward, but the seller has to protect one's best interests at the same time.

If this happens, the seller will likely be in position to keep any earnest money (also known as hand money) that the buyer offered. Along with this, there are times when the seller is awarded damages from any profit lost if he or she ended up selling the home for less, due to it being under contract for an extended period of time.

Note: Make sure you are familiar with the contingencies attached to the contract, such as those for a home inspection, sale of another property, or obtaining a mortgage.

Even after a contract is signed, not every real estate deal is completed. There are times when a buyer backs out for one reason or another. If this happens, both the buyer and seller need to know their rights. This is the only way to ensure that you are not taken advantage of.

Source: Bankrate, "My offer was accepted; how can I back out?," accessed March 04, 2016

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