I read an article this week where a real estate agent in another state was expressing the opinion that buyers can walk from a contract too easily because of the property inspection. My response is simply "this is the process."
When I work with home buyers in Florida I always include a property inspection contingency in every offer to purchase. This contingency is included even if the offer is an "as is" offer where the buyer is not expecting the seller to make repairs.
I view the inspection contingency as a "get out of jail free" card. Property inspections are subjective and the results are evaluated by the buyer - not the seller, inspector or any real estate agent.
Is this contingency "fair" for the seller? Most sellers would likely
respond "No!" However, it part of the risk assumed when selling. You
may be surprised at how many "contracts" never close for various reasons
including financing issues, title questions, etc. Some deals crash and burn - that is the nature of the business.
What happens if a seller repairs an identified issue or even every issue
listed on an inspection report. Can the buyer still walk?
The comprehensive rider to to the Florida residential contract includes **"If Buyer determines, in Buyer’s sole discretion, that the Property is not acceptable to Buyer...." Nowhere does it say "unless all repairs have been fixed by the seller."
Again, this is the process we follow in Florida. The buyer should have their earnest money returned without issue. To contest it will likely require an attorney.
I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY. I DO NOT OFFER LEGAL ADVICE.
**Comprehensive Rider to the Residential Contract For Sale And Purchase
CR-1 Rev. 6/10 © 2010 Florida Realtors® and The Florida Bar. All rights reserved.
[The above article was originally posted on my other blog Moving to Brevard County, Florida on December 17, 2013.]