Home Buying in Burke>Question Details

Rlee9112, Home Buyer in Burke, VA

When can sellers void a contract during inspection contingency period?

Asked by Rlee9112, Burke, VA Fri Aug 7, 2009

We entered a contract to buy a home. During the inspection contingency period, we requested repairs to be made. The sellers came back with an offer to cover all but the most expensive item (repairing a sagging ceiling). We countered for a cash credit in lieu of the ceiling repair. They countered with a no response and said they now wanted to void the contract. We found out two days ago that they entered into a new contract. Can the sellers void the contract during the inspection contingency, after we made a counter-offer, even if we as the buyers had no intetnion to void the contract?

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Rlee, the answers below are as good as it gets having not seen the contract. But, there are assumptions that you are using certain standard forms with no changes.

The real answer to your question is found in YOUR contract, and assuming you have a buyers agent (you definately want one), that agent can direct you to where this issue is addressed in your contract.

These types of negotiations go much smoother when the agents are working together (in a noncontractual manner). A buyer should never assume that when they play hardball a seller will cave in. Sellers walk away from contracts all the time. When it comes to negotiating home inspection issues, it is always my preference to talk through things agent to agent to come up with an agreeable solution before we let a contract fall apart over something so silly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 9, 2009
Hello RLee,
If I understand correctly: The seller has not responded within the required response period (usually 3 days), nor have you removed the contingency before the expiration of the response period. In that case the contract has become void.
If you have further questions please give me a call at (202) 415 4266 and visit my website http://www.mokaiser.com.
Web Reference: http://www.mokaiser.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 8, 2009
The home inspection contingency in your contract has a place where you (or your Realtor) specified the number of days within which to respond to any offer or counter offer related to the home inspection. If you look at your contract on the page that should say 'HOME INSPECTION AND RADON TESTING ADDENDUM" you will see what that time period is. Also, note in paragraph 1.i. the last sentence reads:
"The failure of one party to respond to such counter-offer or to remove this contingency within the required response period shall result in the Contract becoming void at the expiration of that response period."
If you did not want the contract to become void then you needed to deliver notice that you were removing the contingency...and you needed to do that before the end of the sellers time period to respond to your counter-offer.

If you need assistance in purchasing a different home and are not already under a buyers agency agreement with another agent, please contact me. I would be happy to assist you.

Marc Blackwood
Linton Hall Realtors
703-791-9228
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 7, 2009
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