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Can You Cancel a Contract? It Depends

October 28, 2018 GMT

Question: Yesterday, we signed a contract with a remodeling company for a large addition to our home. Today, I heard some really negative stories about the contractor. I would like to get out of the contract. Is it too late?

Answer: The three most important factors in real estate is “location, location, location.” This also applies when signing your home improvement contract.

As is common, the contractor might have come to your house to present the paperwork. Maybe at your kitchen table you signed the documents. If so, you have three business days following execution to cancel the contract in writing.


Massachusetts law allows three business days for you to deliver a written notice of cancellation of your contract -- if it is signed outside of the contractor’s office. You may have more time if there are missing terms in the document. When important sections are left blank (quite common), the three-day period does not ever begin.

If you signed a complete contract in the contractor’s office, you may not unilaterally cancel your contract. Try speaking with the contractor to either resolve your fears or negotiate your way out of the deal.

Finally, I will spare you the lecture about researching contractors after signing your agreement.

Attorney James Haroutunian practices estate planning and real estate law. Contact him with questions at the Haroutunian Law Office at 630 Boston Road, Billerica, 978-671-0711, www.hlawoffice.com or by email at james@hlawoffice.com .