4 Things You Should Do If You Want to Rescind Your Offer, According to a Real Estate Agent

published Jul 25, 2021
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In today’s market, you have to be quick if you want to buy a home. This means potential homeowners don’t have a lot of time to mull over the pros and cons of a property before they have to put in an offer. For some, that can mean regrets, second thoughts, and a bit of buyer’s remorse after the excitement of having an offer accepted passes, and the reality sets in. 

Ask yourself why you’re having second thoughts.

The most common reasons people pull an offer are because they’re having second thoughts after talking to a friend or family member, they’ve discovered something unsatisfactory during the due diligence period, or they’ve simply become overwhelmed by the decision, according to Matt Dolan, a broker with Sagan Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty in Marblehead, Massachusetts. “The decision to pull an offer should never be taken lightly, but there are situations when it’s better to back out than continue with the transaction,” he says. 

Have a chat with your real estate agent.

Sure, your agent doesn’t get paid unless you close on your house, but if you’ve partnered with a good agent, they’re going to have your best interests at heart. So, if you’re having second thoughts, Dolan says your first call should be to your real estate agent so they can talk you through the next steps. “Depending on how far into the transaction, the attorney or lender may [also] need to be involved.” 

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Find out what you have to lose.

Buying a home is the largest purchase many people will make in their lifetime, which means losing out on a non-refundable deposit or other escrow fees may pale in comparison to taking out a mortgage for tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars. 

“Make sure you understand your contract and the implications of what you are signing,” Dolan says. “Contracts vary from location to location and each transaction is unique.” You may have more or less skin in the game than you realize, so you’ll need to talk with your local real estate pros to know exactly what you’ll have to pay out in order to pull out of the deal.

Don’t wait too long.

You likely already know if you’re experiencing run-of-the-mill home buying jitters, or if you’ve actually made a huge mistake. Dolan says you should trust your gut and make that call to your Realtor as soon as possible. “This can lessen the blow for everyone involved,” he says. “Here in Massachusetts, we regularly see a 10-day due diligence period which gives the buyer the opportunity to more closely evaluate a property before fully committing to move forward.” After that window closes, it can become more challenging to back out without losing a deposit.