Boston condos for sale: Can a buyer back out of a deal once they submit an Offer?

When you make offer on a Boston condo for sale, you need to place a money deposits. An earnest money deposit demonstrates you’re committed to the purchase of a Boston condo for sale, and the money will go into an escrow account until closing.The last thing you want to do is lose your earnest money. However, the deposit is usually nonrefundable to prevent buyers from changing their minds in the middle of the transaction. Luckily, there are ways to get out of the purchase and keep your earnest money. Here’s what you should know about getting your earnest money deposit back if you change your mind.

Time Frame to Change Your Mind

In Massachusetts, a standard purchase contract includes a clause that allows the earnest money to be returned to buyers within a specific time frame. This clause allows you to change your mind, including cold feet about buying or finding another home you like more. When buying a Boston condo for sale make sure this clause is in the contract. You may not have this contingency in your purchase contract. In these cases, you’ll need a good reason to walk away from the transaction without forfeiting the money.

The Home Appraisal Was Too Low

One of the most straightforward ways to have your earnest money returned is through an appraisal contingency in the contract. Your lender will require that the property be appraised to make sure it’s worth at least as much as the purchase price. If the estimate is too low, you’ll be required to pay the difference. The appraisal contingency in your contract means you only need to buy the home at the appraised value, which gives you leverage to ask for a lower price or change your mind and leave the transaction with your earnest deposit.

The Home Has a Major Problem

Most Boston condos for sale are contingent on the results of a home inspection. You may change your mind about buying the home if the inspection turns up a mold problem, foundation issues,ect… In these cases, you can negotiate with the seller or walk away with your earnest money.

Your Other Home Hasn’t Sold

If you’re selling your Boston condo for sale & buying a new one simultaneously, you likely have a sale contingency. This states you’ll follow through on the purchase contract only if your home sells within a specific amount of time. With this contingency in place, you can change your mind about buying the new home if your current home fails to sell by the deadline, and you’ll keep your earnest deposit.

If you’re getting ready to shop for a Boston condos for sale, following these tips can ensure you don’t lose your earnest money. Experienced real estate agents who know the ins and outs of home financing can also help.For more information please call me at 617-595-3712.

Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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