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How much access is the buyer allowed for inspections?

How much access is the buyer allowed for inspections?

ask phyllis a real estate question

Dear Phyllis,

I have been following your column for years and don’t recall seeing this question asked and or answered. Earlier this year, my fiancé and I bought our first home. As first time buyers the process was both daunting and stressful. At the time of our initial property inspection, our inspector recommended additional inspections: roof, foundation and electrical. We were unable to get each inspector there at the same time but were able to wrap it up with just two more visits to the home. The seller agreed to give us a $5,000 credit and we removed our contingency.

We wanted to get some work done at our new home prior to our moving in (refinish hardwood floors, paint, upgrade to copper plumbing). We asked our agent to make the arrangements so that we could get the estimates and line up the contractors. The seller refused to allow us to return with any additional contractors. He said it wasn’t in the contract and that he had made the home available to us for three inspection days and an appraisal and there would be no more. We weren’t able to get our contractors in and lost several weeks while waiting for work to commence. Do you think we should take the seller to small claims court?


Dear Linda,

I am a real estate agent, and not able to offer legal advice. I am sorry that the seller was not willing to accommodate your request.

Buying a home is very emotional and stressful for both the buyer and seller. Prior to putting their home on the market, many sellers declutter and depersonalize. Then showings commence and they have lost the privacy and comfort of their home. This continues until the home is in escrow and the seller can relax their higher standards.

In hindsight, I think you should have asked to incorporate the estimates with your final walk through. The seller might have been agreeable to that. The final weeks of escrow are often a very busy time for the seller as they are in full packing mode.

On a positive note, you have now joined the ranks of homeowner.

Congratulations on your home!

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