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Canceling a residential real estate contract

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments a person will make in his or her lifetime, whether he or she resides in Florida or elsewhere. With so much money on the line, it is not uncommon for buyers to want to ensure that there are no issues with homes before completing their purchases. Unfortunately, a home inspection is often done after a residential real estate contract is signed, but before the closing has taken place. What happens if the home inspection uncovers a serious problem?

There are a number of issues that buyers will not be able to see when looking at homes. Any problems with a house are generally found after completing a detailed inspection. Buyers would be wise to protect themselves by requesting certain contingencies be included in real estate contracts that would allow them to cancel their contracts if any major issues are discovered.

For example, one issue that can cause serious health risks is mold which, unfortunately, is often hidden behind walls. If mold is found by an inspector, but a contract fails to include the passing of a home inspection or the seller being responsible for any necessary repairs as contingencies, the buyer may have to deal with the issue him or herself or walk away, losing any money already put down on the purchase. This can be a huge financial burden to a buyer.

Home buyers in Florida whose homes have failed inspections due to serious hazards, but whose contracts do not contain the contingencies necessary to cancel the contracts or get the problems repaired, can seek legal assistance. Better yet, it makes sense to retain an attorney before signing any legal documents in connection with a proposed purchase of real property. No one should have to be stuck with a home that is unsafe to live in because a seller failed to disclose a problem before a contract was signed. In an effort to recoup any money already invested in a home purchase, it may be possible to have a residential real estate contract invalidated through litigation.

Source: homeguides.sfgate.com, "How Do I Cancel Real Estate Contracts Due to Mold?", Anna Assad, Accessed on Aug. 11, 2015

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