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can they make me?

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We are from New York State and two of my friends were trying to but a house. They had an appointment with the real estate agent. She told them that they had to make an offer to the sellers. They thought that the paper that they signed was strictly for the offer. They then ended up getting turned down for the finances. They had to back out of the whole purchase. They are now being sued and apparently the paper they signed was also a sales contract. Can they get out of this in any way? Shouldn't the real estate agent have explained all of this to them because they were first time home buyers? Should they get a lawyer to represent them in court?

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