Purchase Offer With a Flu Contingency?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Safe Haven Realty CalBRE# 01433049

Purchase Offer With a Flu Contingency?

My client (buyer) was supposed to have a general home inspection done today. On Monday afternoon, I received a call from the inspection company, letting me know that the inspector was down with the flu. Could we reschedule or should we hope that the inspector feels well enough when Wednesday rolls around? We rescheduled. And now we are in danger of meeting our inspection contingency deadline.

Not only did I, nor the buyer, want to be exposed to the flu, but having an inspection done today would have brought the flu into the sellers' home. The inspector touches (without washing their hands first) many items in a home that the seller will subsequently be touching later that day.

This includes:

  • Sink Faucet Handles
  • Kitchen and Bathroom Cupboard Handles
  • Oven Controls
  • Dishwasher Controls
  • Shower Controls
  • Thermostats
  • Door Handles
  • Anything in the home the inspector happens to lean on or grab

What we needed in our purchase offer was a flu contingency. We may miss our inspection contingency deadline by a day or maybe even two. But we'd rather be late than sick. And I hope the sellers feel the same way.


Posted by

Safe Haven Realty

Cynthia Larsen (707-332-2560) is an independent broker and owner of Safe Haven Realty in Sonoma County, California. Visit www.safehavenrealty.com to view available homes for sale and to learn more about this beautiful wine country destination.

CA Broker License #01433049




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William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I wold have allowed a short time period for the inspector to feel better.

Feb 14, 2018 05:53 PM #4
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Cynthia- this is certainly something that needs to be considered in light of the many cases of flu going around. I've been carrying hand gel and wipes around and in the car. And inspector in your home that is touching all of those knobs and handles that you touch would certainly make me either postpone the inspection or find someone else. 

Feb 14, 2018 05:53 PM #5
Anthony Vosilla
Tony's Appraisal Services - Centereach, NY

During this time of year it is not that uncommon for someone to call and push off a property observation.  At the same time I have had to cancel appointments due to illness also.  A big part of the problem is things such as Home Inspections and appraisals are being ordered so late in the process or a rushed closing does not consider that something might hit the fan.  

There is a serious lack of planning in today's world as everyting is now, now NOW.... 

Feb 14, 2018 05:56 PM #6
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

You can send over an ETA (extension of time addendum) to extend the contingency. I can't see any reasonable seller refusing to sign that.

Feb 14, 2018 06:39 PM #7
Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Broker Associate, ABR, 601-278-4513

I agree with Anna Banana Kruchten CRS,CRB - ask for an extension in writing due to the home inspectors flu symptoms, or find another inspector ASAP. Best of luck, and cute post!

Feb 14, 2018 06:48 PM #8
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

We've often extended our (what's it called in GA) due diligence period for various reason including one time for the inspector having the flu.

Feb 14, 2018 06:54 PM #9
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

This could happen to any one, never happened to me yet!

We may miss our inspection contingency deadline by a day or maybe even two. But we'd rather be late than sick. And I hope the sellers feel the same way.

Feb 15, 2018 03:46 AM #10
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Cynthia, I've had something similar happen in the last few months but luckily, we still had some time left in our inspection period. I agree, it's better to reschedule than getting everyone else sick as well and that is, if the inspector is even able to do his job. Hope all will work out and the sellers will be glad you are considering their health and welfare. 

Feb 15, 2018 04:08 AM #11
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Cynthia, I just had this happen a few weeks ago - it was a first for me and my sellers happily signed the extension. All parties agreed that a 5 day extension was far better than risking the flu that's been lasting 2-3 weeks. I hope you meet the deadline but, if you need an extension hope the sellers are understanding and sign off!

Feb 15, 2018 05:18 AM #12
Anna Hatridge
Goodson Realty - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with Goodson Realty

Great thought!  I had the flu earlier this year and it does cause a few issues with deadlines.  

Feb 15, 2018 05:58 AM #13
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Deadlines are important, but so is not exposing people to germs, especially as we don't know the sellers health status. This is one of those times you rely on your relationships in the business, call the other agent, let them know what is going on and ask for an extension. At the same time explaining that the buyer is not playing games, but wants to protect the seller grom unnecessary germs. Good luck, hopefully the inspection goes smoothly and it can all be worked out.

Feb 15, 2018 07:24 AM #14
Jeff Dowler
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Cynthia

Intriguing post, but so timely given all the flu problems these days. There have been a number of real-estate related activities that have been delayed as well as issues with different vendors as a result. I think anyone would understand the need to delay due to illness, at least I hope they would. 

Hope the inspection gets done and all will proceed accordingly.


Feb 15, 2018 07:48 AM #15
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Just when you think you've heard about everything that needs to be considered, along comes something new :)

Feb 15, 2018 11:55 AM #16
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Amen to that. As the seller, I would not have let him in either! I would be disenfecting the whole house after an inspection regardless, but knowing he has the flu for certain...no way!

Feb 15, 2018 02:14 PM #17
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I have refused a handshake to not give or get the flu, cold or ? Its subjective

Feb 15, 2018 03:09 PM #18
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

I agree that it would be risking several peoples health by keeping a sick inspector on a deadline.

However, we must protect our consumers part of the contract.

I would not risk losing the benefit of an inspection period.

I would go for another inspector.

Feb 15, 2018 06:23 PM #19
Rafi Footerman
Mid Jersey Inspections - Edison, NJ
Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More!

I had a serious eye inection once and wore gloves during my inspections to be sure I didn't spread it.  It worked and so did I.

Feb 15, 2018 07:09 PM #20
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

This flu is reeking havoc everywhere... best to avoid germs...wash Hands a lot and hope for the best!  we would have extended the date for the inspection but we are flexible people up here in the great white north! 

Feb 15, 2018 11:32 PM #21
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

You have to be flexible & this is one of the best reasons. Hope it works out well whenever it gets scheduled.

Feb 16, 2018 01:38 PM #22
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

It is an exceptional circumstance acne but we always have a backup inspector we can call. Time is of the essence

Feb 16, 2018 02:37 PM #23
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Cynthia Larsen

Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA
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