What if you make an offer on a home for sale, the seller accepts it and then you change your mind about the purchase? Are you locked into the contract?
Whether you’re suffering from buyer’s remorse, you found another home you like more or any other reason, it’s a common fear.
The answer is, “it depends on what state you are in. If you are buying or selling a home in Texas.” When a offer is accepted by the seller, you now have an executed contract. Within the Texas Real Estate Contract, there is an option period, that option period is negotiable between the buyer and the seller. The usual period for most contracts is 5-7 days. Within those 5-7 days the buyer usually takes that time to get their home inspection completed and repair negotiations completed between the parties in the transaction. However the buyer can “opt-out” of the contract for any reason and get their earnest money returned during the “option period”
These conditions even have a name: Loan Contingencies.
Today, we take a look at some of the more common contingencies in a home purchase contract.
Common Loan Contingencies
That loan preapproval that you got from your lender? You do know that isn’t an offer, right? It is conditional on a number of factors, such as proof of employment and income as well as others.
Until the underwriter clears your file, you really don’t have a loan commitment, just a promise to try to get you one.
This is why buyers’ real estate agents insist on a loan contingency clause in the contract. This way, should you not get final approval for a mortgage, you can walk away from the agreement without penalty.
If the appraiser (hired by the lender) finds that your home is worth less than what you’ve agreed to pay for it, they won’t approve your loan.
There are, of course, ways to mitigate this disaster:
- Come up with the additional money required
- Come up with half the money required and request that the seller pay the other half
- Ask the seller to lower the price
- Walk away from the transaction
If it comes to it, and you end up walking away, the appraisal contingency allows you to do so.