So you saw a house you liked, but it went under contract before you could see it. Or perhaps you put in an offer, but there were multiple offers, and the Seller accepted another Buyer's contract. So you think it's gone forever?
The first 10 days after a contract has been accepted is the INSPECTION PERIOD. During this time, the Buyer finds out all they can about the home; property inspections, disclosures, five-year insurance history, and HOA CC&Rs. The inspection period starts the day AFTER the contract is accepted, and ends at 11:59 PM on the 10th day. (If your contract is accepted on Sunday, Monday is day ONE, and the following week Wednesday is day 10). During this time the Buyer can reject the premises, cancel the contract, and have their earnest money deposit returned.
So, keep an eye on that property, even if it goes under contract with someone else. It may go back on the market, and you may have another opportunity to make it your own. I'm under contract right now with a Buyer who missed out the first time and is getting a second chance at her dream home. Just make sure your REALTOR knows if you want to submit a back-up offer or to be kept informed about the status of the home.
And if you're a Seller, celebrate cautiously during those first ten days. Sometimes things happen with Buyers, and they cancel. If they do, you'll likely be back under contract again in no time!