Like any other contract, a real estate purchase and sale agreement cannot be unilaterally cancelled by either party unless the agreement specifically allows for it. Such a blanket provision is unlikely and if it was included it would likely not be an enforceable agreement at all but what the law refers to as an “illusory promise”.
However, most properly drafted real estate purchase and sale agreements have written contingencies allowing one party to terminate the contract for a failure of a contingency. For example, an agreement to purchase a home might be contingent on a satisfactory inspection. If the property failed to pass the inspection, the agreement could be terminated for that reason.
There is no “cooling off “or “I changed my mind” period for the seller or the purchaser after signing an otherwise valid purchase and sale agreement.
Attorney at Law
Blado Kiger Bolan, Tacoma, Wash.