Until both parties have agreed on all the terms of the contract and have actually signed the purchase agreement so that you are in the contract, neither of you will be legally bound to anything and you can withdraw your offer without any problems. A riskier method for a cold-footed seller is to over-disclose issues with the property in the hope of deterring the buyer and encouraging them to cancel the deal on their own terms. The buyer may respond to the seller's counteroffer with an acceptance, rejection, or other counteroffer that contains modifications to the previous counteroffer. Like an offer, the seller can withdraw a counter offer at any time before the buyer signs it and the signed acceptance is returned to the seller or his agent.
Once signed by the buyer and seller, your offer to buy becomes a legally binding sales contract, at which point you can no longer withdraw your offer unless certain contingencies are not met. Often, people wonder if a seller can back out if they receive a better offer from another potential buyer. Similarly, if buyers counterattack a seller's counter, a new offer to the seller is instituted. If you have housing under contract and find yourself in circumstances that require you to cancel the agreement, there are ways you can do so while minimizing potential legal and financial repercussions.
A home is considered under contract from the time the seller accepts an offer to buy until the sale is finalized and completed. If a seller refuses to pay repair costs, this may lead the buyer to cancel the contract for their part. Avoid financial penalties by keeping track of seller acceptance deadlines and contingencies when considering withdrawing an offer to purchase real estate. The California Real Estate Agents Association provides Contract Cancellation, Release of Deposit and Joint Escrow Instructions for this purpose.
You can use the form if you changed your mind during the negotiation phase, prior to seller acceptance and delivery, of an offer or counteroffer. If any of these come back with significant problems, it may be a reason to wonder if you can withdraw from a housing offer after signing a contract. If the broker rejects your cancellation request, ask the brokerage agency to assign you another agent. Just as the best time to think about selling a home is when you decide to buy a home, the best time to think about canceling an agreement is when you sign an agreement.