Real Estate Law
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Can you tell me what state this is in?
Has the person signed a written purchase contract for the property and given an earnest money deposit?
Where is the person in the process? (inspections completed, financing obtained, set for closing?)
What is the reason for the buyer wanting to back out?
Ok, unfortunately, friend's physical problems with climbing wouldn't give her legal grounds to get out of the contract. If she just breached the contract, then the seller has a few options. First, they could sue for "specific performance" in court to have a judge order the sale to continue under threat of contempt of court and jail time. Second they could sell the house to someone else and then sue for any damages and for any lost money if they had to sell it for less. Third, they could just keep the deposit money and release the buyer from the contract.
The first two can take thousands in legal fees and take a year so the house is tied up that entire time so are very rarely used.
So by far, probably 98%, the seller will just keep the deposit and then terminate the contract and move on to a new buyer..