Tips For Canceling a Short Sale Offer in Sacramento

How to Cancel a Listing or Purchase ContractSome buyer’s agents do not know that when a buyer and a seller sign a purchase offer for a short sale listing, they have entered into a binding contract to buy a home. I don’t really know why agents often treat a short sale like the red-haired stepchild, but it’s a real transaction just like any other real estate transaction. If you sign a short sale offer, you’re committed.

This means if the buyer elects to cancel after approval, a buyer can do so. The RPA contract put out by C.A.R. is written in favor of buyers. Probably because buyers sue more often than sellers. Sellers are typically happier after closing than buyers. It’s rare that a seller feels that he or she got the raw end of the stick. But buyers? Whole ‘nother story.

Some people believe that the only time a buyer cannot cancel is after all contingencies are removed, and that’s a myth. They can still cancel. Buyers can always cancel. But in that event, they could get sued because they don’t have a contractual right to cancel, although, that’s where they will argue.

If a seller does not sign a buyer’s cancellation simply out of spite, a seller can be facing a $1,000 fine. The seller has no right to ignore the cancellation, if the buyer is within the time period to cancel. But that’s after 30 days. So, you can’t really force sellers to immediately sign a cancellation for a short sale offer especially unless you’re standing over them with a sledge hammer, and no agent has the inclination to do that.

But what happens when it’s the other way around and the sellers want to dump a buyer? How is that handled? Before my sellers cancel buyers from a short sale transaction, we give them a chance. It’s the fair and equitable thing to do, even if they are not fair and equitable to us. Besides, contracts stipulate. We send them a Notice to Perform. We spell out what we want them to do, and if they don’t do it, we can unilaterally cancel that short sale offer.

However, if you as a buyer wants to cancel, you need to sign a cancellation of contract. Not a withdrawal of offer and not an addendum. Buyers sign the top and bottom portion and date it, along with escrow information to release the earnest money deposit. Buyers also need to state a reason for the cancellation. When buyers sign a short sale addendum, agreeing to wait for short sale approval, the buyer is supposed to wait during that period of time. But bottom line, if a buyer doesn’t want to buy, nobody can make ’em. I suppose it’s possible they could be sued for sending a seller to foreclosure, but that’s for lawyers to argue.

For more questions about a Sacramento short sale offer, call your Sacramento short sale agent, Elizabeth Weintraub, at 916 233 6759.

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