How to Break a Texas Real Estate Contract

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Real estate contracts in Texas are legally binding and not easy to break. However, Texas real estate contracts often contain clauses that allow the buyer to back out for a variety of reasons. It is important that buyers understand the contract they are signing and how they can step away if they no longer want the property.

  • Make sure an option period is written into the contract. According to Creekview Realty, the option period and option fee give buyers an unrestricted right to rescind the contract. For instance, the home inspection may reveal serious defects. If the inspection is completed within the option period, the buyer can walk away without penalty.

  • Creekview Realty notes that the option fee is usually $100 and the period is seven to 10 days. You are allowed to back out of the contract for any reason during your option period but you will lose your option fee to the seller.

  • Talk to your real estate agent or a lawyer if you cannot meet the financing terms in the contract. According to Creekview Realty, it is common in Texas for real estate contracts to have a Third Party Financing Condition Addendum that allows the buyer to void or cancel the contract if he is unable to get the loan or terms stated in the contract. Creekview says buyers can use this as a way to get out of a contract. Usually the financing option has a set number of days, commonly around 30.

  • Talk to a lawyer or agent about your legal options if you are outside of the financing and option periods. If the seller damages the property, you may have to take legal steps to void the contract. Sellers who do not leave the home the way it was at the time of the buyer's visit or take significant things out of the home can be in violation of the contract terms. If the buyer breaks the contract for a reason not specified in the contact, he may just have to surrender his earnest deposit.

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