How to Withdraw a Real Estate Offer

How to Withdraw a Real Estate Offer. You may want to withdraw a real estate offer for several reasons. Either you decide you do not want to buy a house, move or after you make an offer on one house, you suddenly find a better one. Whether or not you'll be successful will depend on several factors.

Step 1

Withdraw the offer as quickly as possible. You're free to withdraw an offer with no consequences if the offer has not been accepted and signed by the seller. In most cases, this gives you a window of opportunity of at least one business day and possibly longer.

Step 2

Reject a seller's counteroffer. If the seller submits a counteroffer instead of accepting your offer, you may reject the counteroffer and not be liable for your initial offer.

Step 3

Wait to see if all the contingencies in the real estate offer are met. If the seller has already accepted the offer, wait to see if the inspector finds a major problem or another term of the offer is not met. Depending on the problem, the seller may or may not have an opportunity to make the necessary repairs.

Step 4

Forfeit the deposit money. If the offer has been signed by both parties, your only choice is to give up the deposit. If the deposit amount is worth getting out of the contract, this can be a viable strategy.

Step 5

Prepare for a potential law suit. If you withdraw a real estate offer after it has been signed by both parties, the seller, in addition to keeping your deposit, may sue you for damages. Whether this potential threat is worth withdrawing your offer depends on what you stand to gain by breaking the contract.


Look for any small changes the seller makes to the offer. For example, if the seller accepts your offer, but changes the occupancy date, that constitutes a counteroffer and enables you to reject the offer without without penalty.