Profile picture for esvrk

Can a Buyer cancel the purchase after inspection?

During the home inspection I found several defects in the house that I offered to buy. The Seller only pays up to $1000 of repairs by the contract. Can I cancel the offer? Which forms would I need to submit? My realtor is playing seller's side and wouldn't give me direction.
  • February 06 2014 - US
  • 1
    1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

Answers (12)

Best Answer

esvrk,

To answer your question in general terms, oftentimes the buyer is within their right to cancel a purchase agreement after a home inspection if the contract forms were structured properly. Specifically, if the home inspection portion of the contract was checked and initialed (or signed if appropriate in your locale) it should outline the proper steps to be followed after the home inspection has been completed and the report provided. In this area, a buyer has the right to ask the seller to make the repairs and/or provide a seller credit. If the seller opts not to make any repairs, give a credit or offers something that is less than what the buyer is requesting, then the buyer can give notice to the seller the contract will become void after the time period allowed in the home inspection notice unless the seller agrees to meet the buyer at the terms they were originally requesting or an alternative agreement can be reached with regard to the repairs and/or credit.

I hope this helps. Everything should be outlined in your purchase contract. Specifically, look for the home inspection section which will outline your rights and protections as a buyer.
  • February 06 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Every state has a different contract. Your agent should be familiar with yours and the contingencies it contains.
In California, unless the counter offer states differently, the buyer has 17 days to inspect the property and either approve the condition and remove the inspection contingency or not approve and either request repairs, money in lieu of repairs or cancel the contract and get their deposit back. It is in item 14 on the contract.
You should already understand that no house is perfect and I'm assuming you're buying a pre-owned" house. Home inspections are not done to provide the seller with a repair list. They are for a buyer to be sure there are no major repairs they didn't know about. You may have a laundry list including broken plastic covers, loose toilet, slow drain, loose hinges, etc. The important things are usually the ones that affect the safety and habitability such as proper electrical wiring, working heater, secure foundation, working appliances, etc.  
Good luck!
  • February 09 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for userABC123XYZ
You need to read through the contract again and look for wording about cancelling the contract and getting your escrow refunded.  The same thing has happened to me.  So-called buyer's agents have tried to make me believe I can't get my escrow refunded unless the inspection revealed some significant repairs that need to be done.  After throughly reading the contract I have signed, I am now aware I can cancel it for any reason I want, as long as its done within the amount of time printed on my contract.  I have now learned that even a buyer's agent is not 100% trustworthy, and cannot be fully trusted to be my advocate.
  • February 09 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

You need to talk to an attorney.

If your Realtor (if he is one) plays the other side than you need to remind him of their fiduciary duties with you as his buyer if he is not the Listing agent. If you picked the Lsitin agent as your representation be prepared to be on your own!

Otherwise, I agree with my follow colleagues. It all depends how the contract was written up. Take a look at your contract under the inspection clause. It could be that you agreed to stay in contract if the repairs are under $1,000 and can not cancel if the seller repairs. Are those defect small easy to repair or are you talking about major issues? It all depends from which site you see it.

Are you still in the due diligence period? Are you still in that time line to cancel if contracted for? Read your contract first and look for somebody who will guide you for the rest of the deal.

Good luck to you,

Annett T. Block
Florida Connects Inc.

  • February 07 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Everything depends on what it states in the contract. If you are not clear what the contract means you should ask your agent (or if he is uncooperative, your agent's broker) to explain it to you. If that does not give you the guidance you want, your next recourse is to ask an attorney to explain your rights based on the wording in the contract.
  • February 07 2014
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Most state approved contracts will allow for a buyer to cancel as a result of inspection findings.  However, whatever is in writing generally prevails.  My advice is to read the contract you signed and look for the Due Diligence or Inspection sections and read what timelines are allowed for cancellation.  
  • February 07 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for craigfial
Since the sellers agent is working both sides of the transaction his is acting as Transaction Broker and should give you some direction.  This is why I tell people to use a buyers agent but that's a whole other discussion.

As long as you are in your inspection period, you should have the right to cancel without penalty.  Send an email or written letter to the sellers agent and broker indicating you are canceling due to inspection issues and request your deposit back within 3 days.

The agent should send you a release, but don't hold your breath.  He's upset that you want to cancel.
  • February 07 2014
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for nonaswann
esvrk,

As many have said before, your contract should have an inspection period and a limit of seller's repair amount. If the repairs exceeds the amount your contract may allow you to withdraw with your deposit.

I agree that you should talk to your REALTOR and if you are not satisfied with the answer ask to speak to the Broker or a real estate attorney.

Good luck.
  • February 06 2014
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Assuming your location is California, cancellation is possible before the expiration of the inspection contingency and removal of contingencies. Escrow will not refund your deposit unless seller and buyer sign the cancellation. This is not legal advise. Good luck. 
  • February 06 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Hello Home Buyer,

First, I would fire my agent who is not looking out for my best interests and representing me!
A good place to seek a replacement agent can be your current agent's company.
You can also find one with good reviews here on Zillow.

As for your question, your purchase contract should have given you a time period to conduct your inspections and due diligence. If you are within the time period specified, you can cancel. If your agent will not do it, contact his manager or broker. The cancellation document is a relatively simple one-page document. You can also negotiate with the seller and inform him/her that you will cancel if you don't come to terms on the amount of credit for repairs.

If the time period for your inspections has passed, you can still cancel if you have not removed the inspections contingency in writing. You are welcome to contact me with further questions. Good luck!
  • February 06 2014
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Zillow posts your location, esvrk, as "US," and you need a local expert to advise you. I suggest bringing your contract to an attorney tomorrow.

All the best,
  • February 06 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for wetdawgs
What contingencies did you have in your purchase offer?   Often there is an inspection contingency and if not happy (within the time mentioned in the contract), you can withdraw your offer.  What forms?  Varies state by state and your agent should be able to help you with this (if not, call his/her managing broker).

There are no homes (even new) with no defects, so it may be useful to have a clue on the magnitude of repair costs to your satisfaction.  
  • February 06 2014
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.