Can I Take Back My Offer on a House?
Published on:June 24, 2016
House Offer

You have spent weeks hunting for the perfect house, and you think you may have finally found your dream home. You put down an offer, and you are ecstatic when the buyer accepts. You start the planning process when you suddenly get news that a family member has passed away and left you their home. You have fond memories of that home, and you felt it was the ideal place to grow up. Now you suddenly want your kids to have the same great memories of that house that you did. What do you do?

A Contract to Buy

Just because you submitted an offer and the seller accepted that offer does not mean that you have a binding contract to buy the property. In many cases, real estate offers have several layers of contingencies that have to be met before the process is finalized. Unless you have signed the contract to purchase the property, then there are still ways to get out of it. In some instances, even if you signed the contract, you can still get out.

Check Your Contingencies

In many cases, an agreement to buy a home is contingent on the buyer being able to secure funding. Even if you were pre-approved for your mortgage, you still have to go through the process of getting approved for the actual funding after you put in your offer.

If you have not been officially approved for your funding, then you can tell the seller that you cannot get a mortgage and need to back out of the deal. This is one of the more amicable ways that you can back out of a pending house sale without having to worry about too many legal hassles.


Just as you received news of your relative passing away and their home being left to you, your attorney calls and says that the seller has submitted a counteroffer to your offer. At this point, you can call off the entire deal and not accept the counteroffer. This method of getting out of a real estate sale can sometimes be a bit more contentious, but it is still legal.

Talk to Your Attorney

The chances are good that the buyer is not going to be happy to find out that you want out of the deal because of your circumstances. But if you have signed the offer sheet and maybe even signed the sales agreement, then getting the seller to agree to call the deal off may be your only recourse.

Contact your attorney and explain your situation to them. Your attorney will get a hold of the seller’s attorney and the two will discuss a deal. You may have to pay a deposit to have the deal called off, but it is a small price to pay to be able to live in a home that has so many childhood memories.

Life can take some funny turns, especially at the most unexpected moments. The time may come where you are deep into the process of submitting an offer on a home, and then you suddenly need to back out of the offer. Your best course of action is to get your attorney involved, and examine the options you have to get out of the deal as smoothly as possible.