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I am considering buying a house in New York. What if I decide that I don't want to close after signing the contract?

New York, NY |

I may have the possibility to buy a property a little bit below market value. The deal seems interesting and the current owner asked me to put only $1,000 as the deposit when we'll sign the contract. If I sign the sales contract and put the $1,000 in escrow what can I be liable for if I decide that I dot not want to go through and close the deal? I understand that I will lose my $1,000 deposit but could the owner also go after me and seek damages or obtain a court decision ordering me to buy the property? If so, is there a way for me to protect me against that?

Attorney Answers 3


You have to read the contract.

The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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My advice is to contact an attorney to draft a buyer's rider to the contract. In the rider, certain provisions can be delineated so that you are afforded the utmost protection should the deal not close (including the return of your down payment). Good luck.

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Most NYS Residential RE contracts allow for the forfeiture of the downpayment to serve as a remedy to a breach of contract. You should consult an attorney to review the contract to determine the extent of damages you may be liable for.

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