Santa Rosa, CA asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Ohio

Q: In Ohio after I sign a contract to buy a home and escrow has started is there a window of time where I can pull out?

I signed a contract to buy a home in Ohio contingent on my parent putting down money for the down payment. Somehow the bank started escrow without receiving any money, and my parent has pulled out. I don’t have a loan that will cover the cost of the house and can no longer buy it without my parents contribution. My parent did not sign a contract, just a piece of paper saying she would give me the money. It was not a contract though. The realtor is threatening to sue me unless I give them $5,000.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kelly A Rochotte
Kelly A Rochotte
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: Check the verbiage in your purchase agreement. Specifically, see if there is a contingency on affordable or your ability to obtain financing. You didn't mention this in your question, but what is the $5k number for? My guess would be that it is earnest money; some purchase agreements will mandate that Seller gets to keep earnest money in the event a sale falls through, but others will state that it's a percentage (i.e. 2%, etc) of said money. Other contracts have ability to finance as a blanket contingency that would prevent you from needing to pay them anything. So, the language of the contract will govern your options. You should consult with a real estate attorney in your county, as well, to review the terms of the actual contract.

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