Signing a purchase agreement is one of the first steps toward buying a home. However, it doesn't mean that a deal to buy house in California can't fall through. There are several contingencies that are typically included in an agreement such as the buyer being able to find financing or inspect the home. Buyers may also make the sale contingent on being able to sell their home first or include other conditions that they deem necessary.
Typically, buyers can back out of a purchase agreement if one or more of those conditions aren't met. In some cases, a buyer may have a limited amount of time to inform the seller that action needs to be taken. For instance, a buyer could have 14 days after an inspection to request that repairs be made to the home. The seller may agree to extend a contingency deadline if necessary.
If a contingency is not met, the buyer may be entitled to any earnest money put down after the purchase offer was signed. However, those who are pulling out of a deal for reasons not specified in the contract may risk losing this money. In some cases, a court might force an individual to close on the deal. A real estate agent may help an individual communicate the reason why he or she is cancelling the deal.
Generally speaking, real estate contract terms can be as flexible as the parties to the deal want them to be. In some cases, it may be possible to back out of such a contract with few consequences or no consequences at all. An attorney may be able to help an individual review a real estate agreement before it is signed to ensure that it meets his or her needs.