Cancellation After Inspection

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Cancellation After Inspection

We made an offer and it was accepted on a home. After inspection, we

discovered structural, electrical, and mold issues. We also found out there was an open 24k claim for a burst pipe and water damage. Needless to say, we canceled the offer based on the 65-page inspection. The sellers keep putting off signing the cancellation which puts us in a bad spot because we want to offer on a better home. The listing agent already put the home back on MLS. We don’t have a signed cancellation or our earnest money. They keep making excuses that the sellers work long hours and can’t make it into the office. Now we have to make an offer with a cancellation contingency. What can we do?

Asked on November 7, 2018 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

From your question, we assume that your contract with the seller had an inspection contingency allowing cancellation with the return of your earnest money after inspection. In that event, legally, they must return the money to you...but unfortunately, when someone will not honor their legal obligations, the only way to force them to do so is to sue them to enforce the contract and its inspection contingency. So you should get your money back, but doing so will take time and filing a lawsuit, since only a court can order them to fulfill their obligations.

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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