Real Estate Law
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I researched your question under the laws of Oregon and found that Oregon only allows a "cooling off" period for a very limited number of purchases, during which time, the buyer is able to cancel the transaction. Unfortunately, this limited 3-Day right of rescission does not extend to a seller who has signed an Agreements of Sale for the sale of a house
Without reviewing the Agreement of Sale that you signed, it would be difficult to say if there is any clause which you could invoke to allow you to rescind the Agreement of Sale. If I were in your position, here is what I would do, in this order,
1. I would explain to the realtor my employer's plans to transfer me had been changed and I would not be transferring to another State, and as a result, I did not want to sell my house. I would tell the realtor to please try and explain my situation to the buyers and return their Good Faith deposit;
2. If the buyers refused to let me rescind the Agreement of Sale, I would tell the realtor to go back to the buyers and tell them that I would offer them $500 for their trouble, if they would agree to rescind the Agreement of Sale, but I would give authority to the realtor to go up to $1,000. Actually, I would even go a little higher because I am saving money on what I would have had to spend in moving expenses;
3. If the buyers still refuse, then I would find something in the Agreement of Sale that was my obligation to do, and I would manipulate that to my advantage. Please allow me to give you an extreme example, only to illustrate what I mean by "manipulate to my advantage". So, for example, if I had to supply a clean Termite Report to the buyers, I could call my friendly, neighborhood termite inspector and tell him to inspect the house and put a few termites here and there so that he could include in his report that he found termite infestation.
I would not go to that extreme, to bring termites into my house because although the buyers would probably back out when I told them that I would not treat the termite infestation, the termites would leave me without a house also. Another possibility is to sign a Mortgage and give it to a trusted friend. Make the amount that the Mortgage secures more than the amount of the sale price of your house. You can then tell the realtor to tell the buyers that you cannot convey title to the buyers, free and clear of all liens, mortgages, and other encumbrances because you do not have the funds to pay off the mortgage liens on the property. The fact that a seller is not able to pay off all the lienholders and convey free and clear title to the buyers is not a condition of default so, you will not be in any danger of the buyers suing you.
With these illustrations in mind, take another look at your Agreement of Sale, and look for such conditions which you, as the seller, would have to fulfiill, but that you can somehow maneuver and use it to your advantage.
I really do not think that the buyers will give you any problem because it is a very, very rare occasion that a buyer will sue a seller of residential property for Specific Performance because it is much too expensive to litigate such an issue. It would be much easier for the buyers if they just looked for another house. In situations where the buyer has, in fact, sued the seller for Specific Performance, it is because the seller had allowed the buyer to go onto the property and the buyer had already incurred substantial costs in making renovations to the property, so when the seller changed his mind about selling the property, the buyer had too much money invested in renovation costs to simply walk away and, therefore, had no alternative, but to sue the seller for Specific Performance. But, that is not the case here, and that is why I stated that I do not believe that the buyers will give you any problem.
You can keep the examples and illustrations that I discussed above, in the back of your mind, in the unlikely event that the buyer will insist of buying the house, and you might need these ideas to get you out of the Agreement of Sale,
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