How Can A Seller Cancel A Real Estate Contract?

Real estate contract
Although not ideal, seller's may need to cancel real estate contracts occasionally.

Selling your home can be a stressful process, and it can be even more stressful if you have to back out of a contract. Although this is not an ideal situation to be in, sometimes life circumstances change and you need to adjust. There are a few things you can do to break a real estate contract as a seller without getting into legal trouble. We discuss a few things to consider below.

Tips for cancelling a real estate contract

  • Check the Contract: The first thing you need to do is check the real estate contract carefully. Most contracts will have a clause that allows either party to back out of the deal if certain conditions are met. For example, the contract may allow you to back out if the buyer fails to get financing or if the buyer’s inspection reveals major problems with the property.
  • Have your real estate agent communicate with the buyer or buyer’s agent: If you find a clause in the real estate contract that allows you to back out, you should talk to the buyer first. Explain the situation to them and see if they are willing to work with you. You may be able to come to an agreement that allows you to back out of the deal without having to pay any penalties.
  • Consult your real estate attorney: It is wise to hire a real estate attorney for any real estate transaction. If you do not have one, your real estate agent should be able to provide you with some options. If you are considering breaking a real estate contract, it is important to get help from an attorney. A real estate attorney can help you understand your rights and options and can represent you in court, if necessary.
  • Consider Paying a Penalty: If the buyer is not willing to work with you, you may have to pay a penalty to break the contract. The amount of the penalty should be specified in the contract. However, it is important to remember that paying a penalty is usually much less expensive than going to court.
  • Litigation: If you cannot reach an agreement with the buyer and you are not willing to pay a penalty, you may have to go to court. Of course, this should be viewed as a last resort as it is both expensive and time-consuming. Furthermore, if you are not performing as a seller on the real estate contract, it is unlikely that you will prevail in court.


In closing, cancelling a real estate contract as a seller is far from ideal. Hopefully, this will never happen to you either as a seller or a buyer. As always, it is important to have a thorough plan whenever embarking in the home selling or home buying process. Your first step should include hiring a professional and knowledgeable real estate agent that will be able to guide you through the process.

Are you thinking about buying or selling a property in South Florida? We can help! Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. In addition, be sure to download the free Florida Home Search app for your mobile device.

By natasha moore

REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.