Use Home Inspection to get out of Purchase Agreement

I received a phone call this morning.

“We’ve put in a conditional purchase agreement for a resale home and are having second thoughts. We understand that if we get a home inspection, we can get out of the purchase agreement. Is that correct?”

What would you say?

Nalliah Thayabharan
Expert Building Inspections Ltd
Markham ON

I wouldn’t get caught up in helping them get out of a sale. If it is condition on home inspection then they should get it done, and then they can decide from there whether they want to go ahead or not.

It is not your responsibility to “help” them out of a jam.

They may have other conditions that they can fall back on, like financing.

This is a problem they should be bringing to their Realtor, not you.

I report, you decide.

The report will be factual. Use it as you deem necessary, you’re the customer.

HELLO, who do you think is putting them up to asking us?
Duh, the Realtor!

Once a Buyer’s “Conditional Purchase Offer” is delivered, about the only way to get out of/recind that offer is with a H/I or death.
A H/I is always up to interprtation, and I’m not sure death will get you out of the offer.
I can see Seller/Realtor Rep. saying that won’t break the deal and try to go after your estate.

The Realtor gets frustrated with the Clients change of mind.
He/She knows the Seller won’t accept a change of mind, knows Buyer won’t get earnest money back…so get the H/I to write a report that will sink the ship.

From the old Hillstreet Blues Show…Hey, you be careful out there!

I do my inspection always the same, how the client uses it is not my concern .
Never change my ways.

Roy Cooke

That’s a legal and or contractual question which should not be answered by a home inspector. Refer them to attorney, agent, escrow, whomever…

I see nothing wrong with them getting out of the contract using the inspection rider and I see nothing wrong with an inspector accepting the job.

Wasn’t this the question?

“We understand that if we get a home inspection, we can get out of the purchase agreement. Is that correct?”

Is the home inspector going to render an opinion on how, when and under what circumstances the buyer can opt out of the purchase agreement?

I know I’m not…

Whats funny is that a couple of buyers agents around here will only use me when they want to get out of a contract…that is…They know I am thorough and I guess they think I will always find something to negotiate. Its too bad because I am just doing a good job and of course they will call me when its their personal house they want inspected.

Don’t take it personal Paul. Here in California, a buyer doesn’t need a reason to terminate a purchase if their within the contingency period. I have clients all the time who back out of one property because they find a better deal, view, location on another property. With prices falling, I’ve even had them back out simply to purchase another identical model in the same track for a lower price. I love the real estate biz!

We are in business to help people with their largest investment.At a minimum talk these people into a home inspection. We have insurance for a reason,regardless of whether or not a realtor has prompted this question, it sounds obvious the realtor was trying to get these people to close without an inspection. So quote them a big price and go play superman , be the hero!! If all you worry about is littigation than your not giving your customers your best foot foward…

Ditto here.

I had more than one husband call me and tell me that he wanted
to use my inspection report to convince his wife not to buy the

The wife would not believe him, but would believe a third party
inspection report.

I don’t really care one way or the other. I inspect all of em the
same, regardless. It is funny though when I make a comment
about how nice the house looks and the husband is giving me
the “cut your throat sign”… LOL.

I inspect… the Client decides what to do with it.

Possibly. It all depends upon the conditions reported as compared to the conditions disclosed along with the buyer and seller’s ability to negotiate, in good faith, a resolution regarding the difference.

A home inspection provides you with a disinterested third party report of the conditions of the home for your use in this process and I would be happy to provide that for you.


A home inspection report is not necessary to get out of the purchase agreement. However, they must have a home inspection done to fulfill their contractual obligations. They do not need to cite any particular deficiency, they only need to have an inspection done and in their opinion be “unsatisfactory”.

There is no reason whatsoever that you need to come up with any deficiency in particular to help them get out of their inspection. Just do your business as usual. They can change their mind at any point, however they do need to pay for a home inspection if they are using a home inspection to cancel their purchase agreement.

Not in California…

Line 170 and line 233 are interesting:

I think everyone knows the inspection can be used to get out of a purchase agreement. That’s one of the reasons people get a home inspection. If a person called me and asked that question I would tell them I will do the inspection and if they think a defect is something they don’t want to deal with they have the option to deny the purchase.

Of course every home has problems and no matter how you report these problems **that **client can say the problems are not something they want to deal with and don’t want the home, end of story.

This is not the statement I would make .( I would tell them I will do the inspection and if they think a defect is something they don’t want to deal with they have the option to deny the purchase. ) I would tell whem I do the inspection and give you the report how you use it is your decision .
I try never to give legal advice .
I also try to never use the word PROBLEMS, I like concerns , some concerns are big and some concerns are small .
Many people know what is needed and just need confirmation
Roy Cooke