Can a buyer back out of a contract because they do not like how the house is heated?After the home inspection

Asked by Lance, Chantilly, VA Sun Feb 17, 2008

We signed a contract with a buyer and they now want to back out of the contract because they do not like the heating system in the the house. A home inspection was conducted and the buyers do not like the heating system. In the contract we agreed to pay up to 1% of anything that needed to be fixed. I guess their were more problems but will not disclose them to us. Can they still walk away without giving us the option to fix the other problems?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


FrankyRealty, , Arlington, VA
Mon May 19, 2008
Cindy is right.
The default contracts in virginia have a sneaky line that few ever see. It says "-OR- 1 A. (ii) Notice voiding this Contract."

Which means that all they need to do is give notice to void the contract within the review period. (usually 7 days).

You would have had to have striken that line to make the buyer be bound to the contract. That is almost never done.

But even if that was gone, they would find a way out. Consider contracts merely memos of understanding until you close.

1 vote
Michael Stra…, Agent, Stafford, VA
Thu Jun 5, 2008
A buyer or a seller can obviously do whatever they want. If you want to know if you have legal recourse you need to read the contract or hire an attorney to explain the contract. Paragraph 7 of the Virginia contract does state that all systems must be in working order. I do agree the best thing is to have an open and honest dialogue. Buyers have a lot of power in the current market and sellers are often finding difficult to meet such high expectations. At the end of the day, when the property is sold, it is just a memory. So when negotiating keep in mind your long term plans!
0 votes
James Pycha, Agent, Princeville, HI
Tue May 20, 2008
Read the contract section pertaining to Buyers inspections for actual rights of the Buyers.
0 votes
Kathy Carter, , Bergen County, NJ
Sun Feb 17, 2008
If a person changes their mind they'll use just about any excuse to get out of the contract. If they are legitimately concerned about the heating system in the home I would try to work with them. If they insist on being out of the deal - let them out. At the end of the day you can't force someone to buy your home.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Cindy Jones, Agent, Alexandira, VA
Sun Feb 17, 2008
As long as you are using the home inspection contingency clause in the Virginia contract you do have that option. If the heating system is old and is not funtioning then you are required to repair that item. If both of you have agents representing you they can explain the pros and cons of all the options in a Virginia Real Estate Contract.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Pat Mulligan,…, Agent, Chesapeake, VA
Sun Feb 17, 2008
During the home inspection, the buyer can walk away without penalty for any reason. They can simply by say they have further inspected the property & don't want it. Or not give a reason at all. They don't even have to DO a home inpsection.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more