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How do I get out of a real estate contract before the close date and what are the penalties I stand to absorb as a result?

Chicago, IL |

I recently entered into a real estate contract for a condo in the Chicagoland area. My girlfriend and I are planning on buying the place together and getting engaged before the close date in late May. We have recently had a big fight and our future together is in question. The problem is that we submitted a contract that the seller agreed upon, we had the home inspection, and have reached a verbal aggreement and earnest money has exchanged hands. ($10,000) Our close date is scheduled for the end of May. If we were to decide not to go through with it what are the possible legal / financial ramifications? I assume we would lose the $10,000 at the very least.

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Attorney answers 1


It is likely that your $10,000 is at risk, although it is impossible to answer this question without looking at your contract. Do you not have a real estate attorney helping you with this transaction? One thing that might help you legitimately get out of the contract is if you have not reached the mortgage contingency date and something falls apart with your mortgage.

You should have this conversation with your attorney. If you do not have one, I would be happy to consider representing you to see if I can help you through this difficulty.

This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law may vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is intended only to give some direction in which to seek assistance.