Can Buyers Back Out After a Home Inspection?

By JDFerris

Dec 01

It’s incredibly frustrating to discover that what you believed was your dream home is nothing more than a prospective nightmare. Fortunately, this is the reason real estate agents, brokers, and investors alike will all tell you to get a home inspection before purchasing a home.

Having a quality home inspection can keep you from making seriously costly mistakes. The majority of the time, the purchase and acquisition contract will allow you an “out” if, after finishing your home inspection and safety evaluation, you determine the house isn’t appropriate for you.

You have to review your purchase contract very carefully and also figure out when the deadline is for your home inspection to be completed; this is also called the inspection contingency. Thinking that you are still within the time constraints of your inspection contingency, you need to read through your purchase agreement to find out what needs to be done to inform the seller that you would like to withdraw your offer on the home.

If the purchase agreement you use when buying a house includes the same language as the typical state purchase and acquisitions contract, you should be able to inform the seller of your intent to withdraw before the home inspection contingency deadline without much, if any, repercussion. Some states will have forms to help you address this problem that you can make use of to notify the seller. If you make sure to inform the seller of your intent before the due date and also by the method defined in the agreement, you should be able to obtain your earnest cash back in full.

If you are past the inspection contingency date, however, it is possible that your earnest cash may not be refundable.

Among the very best aspects of the home inspection contingency in an acquisition contract is that, in a lot of situations, it is a highly subjective contingency. To put it succinctly, the home buyer likely has the choice to revoke the contract before the inspection due date for nearly any type of factor: your home smells funny, it ends up that there isn’t a lawn sprinkler or the home buyer feels your house has negative juju.

The ability to withdraw your offer may not hold with all purchase agreements, so review your inspection contingency meticulously.

If you are using a state-approved contract for the purchase of the home, you will virtually always have the ability to back out of the agreement before the contingency due date for several reasons. After all, before committing to an offer, many buyers only see the home once or twice. The inspection contingency permits the purchaser to be more sensible and get even more of a feel for the good condition of your home before fully committing to the tune of the earnest money and down payment.

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