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From time to time, people decide they no longer want to buy a house they’ve already signed a contract for.

But can you really do that?

Here’s what you need to know.

Can You Get Out of Buying a Home?

Sometimes it’s okay to walk away from a real estate transaction - it’s the only way to protect yourself from making a huge financial mistake. Usually, these kinds of things are covered in the contingencies your real estate agent has put into your contract - like home inspection contingencies, financing contingencies or appraisal contingencies. If something goes wrong and it’s covered in your contract, you can walk away from the deal with your earnest money deposit intact.

But here’s the deal: if you back out of a contract without a contingency allowing you to do so built into your contract, you’re going to lose your earnest money deposit. And that’s no small chunk of change - most earnest money deposits are between 1 and 3 percent of the home’s purchase price. If you’re buying a $200,000 home - and that’s on the conservative side - you’re at risk of losing thousands. (The seller gets to keep that money!)

If you’re in a position that makes you take a good, hard look at your decision to buy a home, the best thing you can do is talk to your real estate agent. She’ll explain what can happen and help serve your best interests - but do be prepared, in some scenarios, to lose your earnest money deposit.

Are You Buying a Home in Lakewood or Long Beach?


If you’re buying or selling a home in Lakewood or Long Beach, we can help. Call us at 562-882-1581 to find out how!


You can also explore our real estate listings here:


Lakewood homes for sale

Long Beach homes for sale

Anaheim homes for sale

Artesia homes for sale

Bellflower homes for sale

Buena Park homes for sale

Carson homes for sale

Cerritos homes for sale

Cypress homes for sale

Gardena homes for sale

La Palma homes for sale

Lomita homes for sale

Norwalk homes for sale

Rossmoor homes for sale

San Pedro homes for sale

Signal Hill homes for sale

Westminster homes for sale