Termination Of Real Estate Contracts

signing a contract

A buyer decides to terminate a transaction and you prepare a termination, secure your client’s signature and deliver it to the listing agent. The seller doesn’t accept or reject the termination. Can the buyer then withdraw it and enforce the contract?

Only if the seller agrees. Unlike other contract amendments or addenda, the termination of a contract can be unilateral. For example, if a buyer invokes a financing or appraisal contingency, the seller need not agree to terminate. The contract is terminated by the buyer’s act. Ultimately, the parties might disagree about the disbursal of earnest money but the termination of the contract is effective on delivery.

The seller can agree to a buyer’s withdrawal of a termination by performance, e.g., by signing closing documents or signing an addendum to that effect. It may seem odd that the parties can un-terminate a terminated contract by amending the terminated contract, but it is possible.

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