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I am very sorry to hear about your situation. This type of situation is problematic and does make you vulnerable to a lawsuit by the buyer for damages (i.e. rent, moving expenses and related expenses to moving forward with the sale) along with possibility of a suit for specific performance, that is buyer seeks an order compelling you to sell the property. Specific performance suits are rarely won by a buyer however and while there is that risk, it is not a high risk.
So what can be done, first review the contract and make sure there is no contingency for the seller to back out of the contract such as seller has to find suitable housing or approval by other family members. These are not typical provisions in a sale agreement but the agreement should be reviewed to make sure.
Another option is to offer some sort of cancellation fee to the buyer for the inconvenience of terminating the sale. This may be for example double the amount of earnest money they put down.
Another option is to simple take the risk that the buyer will have some compassion for the reason why the seller wishes to breach the contract and they will decide to walk away for return of their earnest money. This is more often the case and the buyer just moves on, however, there is a risk the buyer will not be so lenient and will attempt in some way to be compensated.
I wish I had better news or a silver bullet to give you to get out of a real estate sales contract.
All my best and encouragement. Please note that you are asked to rate my courtesy and professionalism, and not whether the answer supports your legal position. I only receive credit when rated “ok” (3 stars) or higher. If for any reason you feel that a low rating is appropriate, please first give me the opportunity to address your concerns by clicking the "reply" tab.
Please be aware that the information provided here is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information. All states have intricacies in their laws and any information given is simply information only and specifically is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you.