Can a seller back out of a sale after accepting an offer and going through inspection?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a seller back out of a sale after accepting an offer and going through inspection?

I recently placed an offer on a home with my fiance and the offer was accepted by the sellers. We proceeded with the older section and after the home inspection with him pleaded we requested items to be picked up defective in the se we proceeded with the home inspection and after the home inspection was completed we requested items to be repaired that came up defective in the inspection. The sellers have refused to fix items or lower the price of the home purchase. Our realtor is saying that this deal could potentially fall apart if we don’t agree with their terms. I want to

make sure what I am being told is true. Our realtor also told us that they were in a pinch so the seller would like to fix the home repairs but he is not a certified or licensed contractor.

Asked on April 19, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you had an inspection contingency in the contract, you have the right to get out of the contract if the issues found during the inspection are not fixed. That gives you leverage: most sellers will make the repairs (or lower the price/give you a credit) rather than lose the sale. But the seller does not have to do this: the seller could refuse to do anything and force you to decide if you will walk away from the purchase or buy the home as it. The inspection contingency does not compel the seller to make repairs, but only gives you negotiating leverage by giving you the right to walk away from the sale. But a seller can refuse to negotate, make repairs, or give you a price reduction, and put the ball back in your court to decide how much you really want the home.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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