Can we still walk away from the deal?

Asked by Jenny, Cleveland, OH Fri May 2, 2008

We put in an offer to a property with an inspection contingency. The offer is accepted (signed by both parties), and we proceeded with home inspection. During the inspection we found the carpet is not in good shape (tired, thin pad, stains) and requested seller to replace or compensate. Seller doesn't want to do either one, and argue that carpet is not part of home inspection (not showed in inspector's report). We think even though carpet is not on inspector's list, it is still part of the house. And we didn't realize it will be a problem for us until the inspection period after we took a closer look. My question is, if we decide to walk away at this point, will we be able to get our deposit back? The listing agent said no because we would be walk away for a reason not from the inspection report. Please help!

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Tiffany Burke, Agent, Corpus Christi, TX
Fri May 2, 2008

You could have ask for a flooring allowance in the contract, or worked it out that the cost of new flooring be added to the sale price; but it seems you would have done this in the beginning during initial negotiations.

Is your option period expired? If not, you should be able to walk away for any reason. However, I wouldn't think it would be very fair to the seller to walk away now. The inspection reports were fine, the home is sound, is it possible that you may be over- reacting to a cosmetic issue because you are suffering a little buyers remorse?

It just seems to me that you liked the home enough to put a contract on it, so it is probably worth the effort to try to get this issue resolved. I'd advise you to speak with your agent and try to come up with some different options to make it work out unless you have just totally changed your mind and are seeking a way out of the deal.

Best of luck,
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Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Fri May 2, 2008
The listing agent is not the one to make that determination. Where is your agent... or your attorney (if you use one in Ohio), they should be able to advise you about the rules in Ohio.
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J R, , New York, NY
Fri May 2, 2008
Obviously you can ask for whatever you want. An inspection is done too make sure the house is structurally sound, water and electric and heat are in working order. In my opinion, worn carpeting, which I'm sure you saw when you toured the house yourself, is cosmetic and something you would replace when you become the owner. It falls in the same category as the rooms needing a painting.
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