In Illinois, buying and selling a home involves a lot of paperwork. One of the most important documents is your real estate contract.
Everyone hopes the sale process will go smoothly; however, as we all know, life is unexpected. If you are selling your home, there are various things that could potentially disrupt your plans to sell.
You may assume that once the contract is signed, you cannot back out of the sale, but that is not true. There are some situations that may allow you to break your real estate contract without any liability.
Problems with the title
Most real estate contracts require you to have a free and clear title to your home. The real estate process usually involves a title search. If that search reveals that your title is not clear, the sale cannot go through.
For example, if a title search reveals that there is a lien on your house from an overdue bill, the lien must be paid before your home can be sold.
Not finding a new place to live
Your real estate contract may have a new home contingency in it. This is a clause that says you must find a new home within a certain amount of time.
This may not always be possible, especially when times are uncertain. If you make a good faith effort to find a new house and cannot, you could potentially cancel your real estate contract.
Before assuming this, it is best to speak with an experienced real estate attorney to determine exactly what you can and cannot do. Your real estate contract may even have a clause stating that the contract must be reviewed by an attorney.
Almost all real estate contracts require a home inspection. The inspection could reveal some repairs that the buyer wants you to make before they agree to purchase. If these repairs are too expensive, unfeasible or you cannot make them for some other reason, either of you can cancel the sale.
Although these scenarios may give you a reason to cancel your contract, doing so is a big decision. Think carefully and weigh all of your options before deciding.