How to back out of a contract if no earnest money has been deposited in escrow?
Question Details: I'm a realtor and I wrote an offer for a client yesterday, however the seller has not responded to our offer. No earnest money has been deposited in escrow and there is no signed contract by the sellers. My client found out that because he hasn't owned his house for 2 years, he would have to pay capital gains in order to make this purchase. How can we cancel this contract?
You client can't unilaterally cancel the contract, even if no earnest money has been deposited: once they send the offer over to the seller, it is in the seller's court, and if the seller elects to accept it, a contract is formed.
But an offer does not have to stay open indefinitely: your client, through you, can give the seller another 24 hours to accept or not (give them written notice, by email or fax, so you can prove they got it). If they don't accept by then, the offer will be deemed withdrawn. You have to give them a warning that the offer will be withdrawn and some reasonable time to accept if they choose to.