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I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. Generally, parties to a home sale contract or not bound by the agreement until closing. This simply means that once both parties have gone through the inspection and title search and have ensured that there is money available and they both sign on the dotted line that the home is going to transfer ownership, then the contract is enforceable. Up until that point there could be a number of things that could go wrong, including open permits, that could end up frustrating the sale. Therefore, if the owner changes his mind, Unfortunately they would be able to back out of the deal without any penalty. The only way that you would be able to get out of this as if there is something written to the contract that says that they have to provide you some sort of notice before they back out of the deal or they have to pay you some money if they're going to back out of the deal. What I would recommend doing is working with your lawyer and the buyer to see if there is some sort of protection or some sort of incentive that the owner is willing to engage with 2 help secure their participation. Many times people will pay more money up front to help ensure that they try not to back out of the deal later on.
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