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Buyers may be able to walk away from real estate transactions

Life is unpredictable. Despite Illinois residents' best intentions, it may not be possible to fulfill every obligation or promise entered into. When this involves real estate transactions, some potential buyers may wonder whether they can even get out of the deal.

The National Association of Realtors' Realtor Confidence Index for May 2018 revealed that an approximate average of 5 percent of sales fail to result in a closing. A survey conducted in 2017 by the association showed that financial, environmental and home inspection issues are the most cited reasons for a buyer backing out of a transaction. Knowing this may give an Illinois resident the confidence to walk away if needed. It would be better than ending up with a property he or she can't afford or that does not meet the necessary requirements.

The issue is whether a buyer would receive his or her earnest money (or deposit) back from the seller. In most real estate purchases, the buyer must put anywhere from 1 to 10 percent of the purchase price into an escrow account before a seller would agree to remove the property from the market. Unless otherwise stated in the sale and purchase contract, the seller may keep this money when a buyer backs out of the sale.

When a buyer encounters some issue that would make it impossible to close a sale, it could have some ramifications for him or her such as the loss of the earnest money. If a buyer simply believes that his or her only option is to back out of the purchase, that may not be the case. A thorough review of the situation by an attorney with experience in real estate transactions could help a potential buyer determine the best course of action under the circumstances -- whatever they may be.

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