In some instance, it can take months to find a home that you want to buy. Once the seller agrees to accept your offer, you can start moving towards the closing date. Unfortunately, it is possible that the seller might back out of the sale and you could lose out of your dream home. If this has happened to you, here is what you need to know.  

Did You Have a Contract?

If the seller tries to back out of selling his or her home after you have signed a purchase contract, there are some legal options available to you. The first thing you need to do is read your contract from front to back. The contract will be your blueprint for how to proceed. 

The contract contains information, such as the closing date, but it also contains the situations under which the seller can back out. Ideally, if the seller's reason for backing out of the contract is not listed as an acceptable situation, there are financial penalties outlined. 

Depending on the state in which you live, you can possibly file a lawsuit against the seller. If the court does side with you, it is possible that the seller could be forced to go through with the sale since he or she already signed a contract and did not have a valid reason for backing out. 

It is also possible that the court will also award you with monetary damages to help cover the costs of fees related to the delay in closing on the home. 

What If You Did Not Have a Contract?

If you did not sign a purchase contract but were relying on the seller to sell you the home based on a verbal agreement, you could run into problems with trying to push the sale through.    

Regardless of how many times the seller reassured you that he or she was going to sell the home to you, the sale is not considered to be legal until a purchase contract is signed.

In this instance, you have very few legal options. In the future, it is important to focus on signing a purchase contract with the seller to protect your interests in the home. An attorney can help draft the contract and include provisions to protect you if the sale does not complete. 

An attorney (such as one from Schulze Howard & Cox) can also help to fully explore your legal options if you are having trouble with getting the seller to honor the purchase agreement. He or she can also handle the other aspects of buying a home, including the closing.