Q: After the buyer completes an inspection, the buyer sends an Amendment of Contract (TXR 1903, TREC 39-8) to the seller requesting repairs. The buyer states that if the seller doesn’t sign the amendment, the buyer will terminate the contract. Can the buyer do that?
A: It depends. If the buyer paid for and has an option period that has not expired, the buyer may terminate the contract for any reason, including the scenario stated in this question. If the buyer didn’t pay for a termination option or the option period has expired, the buyer may not terminate the contract due to the seller not signing an amendment.
Q: After executing a contract, a buyer sends an Amendment of Contract to the seller requesting a reduction in price. The seller does not sign the amendment and claims that the proposed amendment gives the seller the right to terminate the contract altogether. Can the seller do so?
A: No. Even though a buyer or seller can propose an amendment to the contract at any time, merely proposing an amendment to a contract–or refusing to accept a proposed amendment–does not give either party a unilateral right to terminate an existing contract. The contract is only changed after the parties sign the amendment, signifying their agreement. Without a fully executed amendment, the original contract remains in effect as written.