Realtors, when is it too late to back out of selling?

I have my home listed for sale with a realtor and it has been shown maybe 6 times in the last month. We were planning on moving out of state to be closer to family but hadn’t found jobs yet. Anything we have been looking at for work is a sizeable pay cut, which we were willing to accept if housing and such is cheaper, just for the better quality of life being near family.

Now the wrench thrown into my plans. I am being offered a new position at work (large company), moving into management and it would be a really good step (wasn’t expecting it). We have not hashed out the details on the promotion yet, so I still don’t know if it will change my mind about moving but it very well could. My question is what happens if I decide to stay and someone makes an offer on my house? What if they are willing to pay the asking price? Am I obligated to sell at that point or can I change my mind. I don’t want to pull it off the market until I decide what I want to do. Any knowledge out there you can share with me?
I am in Missouri if that makes any difference.

You are not obligated to sell until:

  1. Both parties (buyer and seller) have signed an UNCHANGED copy of a sale’s contract.

and 2. Both parties (or their agents) have posession of said contract.

You don’t have to accept ANY offer you don’t want to… however.

If you reject an offer for full asking price, you will REALLY piss off your agent. If you like the agent, tell them your situation, ask to take it OFF the market until you’re SURE you want to move.

I’m assuming you’ve signed a listing agreement, which they CAN hold you to, but probably won’t if you agree to use them when you do decide to sell.

I figured that too, and I do like the woman. She is the agent we went through when we bought the house and she gave us a good rate for listing it also. I don’t want to make her mad, but I just don’t really want to pull the house until I know the whole deal. I should know more next week what is happening at work and I plan on advising her of the situation at that time. The weekends are always the big showing times though, I figure with the way things usually go as soon as I decide not to sell someone will want it. Thanks for your advice!

It should be pointed out, however, that if she gets you an offer for full price, she has techinically fulfilled her part of the listing agreement, and you may be liable for her commission even if you DON’T accept the offer.

And your welcome :slight_smile:

Not all real estate agents are Realtors.

I have learned the hard way that if you don’t mind making an ass of yourself, you can back out of a sale any time before final closing. Yep, it may not be legal, but the odds of anyone having the time or money to go after you are slim. I should know, I was set back several thousand in rent, engineer’s fees, assessments, etc. by some joker who did this. My lawyer offered to get it back… for even more money.

I am a (commercial) Realtor. What Waverly says in entirely true from a real world perspective in most instances, although you may not want to try and pull this stunt is the purchaser is an attorney as many will come after you with both barrels, and the value of their own time is relative to them if they are sufficiently pissed.

Per ValBlake’s note a real estate contract (in MD at least) is perfectly valid if all changes have been property initialed by both the buyer and seller.

Per the timing issue you would be better to let your Realtor know your situation immediately, as she might be able to move some showing times around until you are sure of your status. It would be a lot better to have an offer after you know your status rather than trying to delay or reject a good offer once a contract hits your desk which would get everybody upset.