If I Declined My Buyer Home Inspection Can I Sue?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Realty Group Pittsford, NY

If I Declined My Buyer Home Inspection Can I Sue ?


Everyone should not insist but demand that buyers get a home inspection. The reason is obvious isn' it? The attorneys are recommending home inspections, real estate agents and even banks do their own.
So why never decline a buyers home inspection and then sue?

Here's a story I heard today regarding declining home inspections:

A buyer found the perfect house- style, (color), location, size, price, amenities etc. They wanted to close asap and took a major shortcut. The closing attorney gets a call 1 month after the buyer moved in and after some home renovations were done. The buyer states when they turn on the water  in the kitchen and also in the upstairs at the same time they lose water pressure. Can I sue the sellers? REALLY NOW!

Said Attorney- Knowing agents are stressing never decline a buyers home inspection asks the following questions:

Attorney- You had a home inspection done correct? response "No, we DECLINED the home inspectionBuyer Home Inspector

Attorney- Ane you were advised regarding declining a home inspection? response "Yes, but we thought we didn't need it".
Attorney- Was this issue on the property condition disclosure statement? response "NO".
Attorney- Did you do a final walk through and turn everything on/off and test everything as in inspector would do? response "NO we didn't want the final walk thru".
Attorney- Do you think you can prove the seller INTENTIONALLY hid this latent defect or knew about it? response "NO".
Attorney- Did you get a home warranty or ask the seller to pay for a home warranty? response "NO we did not think we needed it".

Attorney- How much was the inspection if you did get it? response "$450".

Attorney to original question "If I Declined My Buyer Home Inspection Can I Sue?" response "NO because you didn't think or listen to the one person you were paying to think for you, the new cost of the home inspection is whatever the plumber charges you to fix the problem, plus any new problems that arise iin the future. You see home inspections are done to protect the buyer and are highly recommended for this very reason. It gives you a chance to measure the risk of buying a home from the opinion of an expert. Failing to do a proper home inspection is a risk in of itself. The $450 would have been well spent if there were any issues with the home, you could have ended the contract if the seller did not want to fix the problems. Now the problems are yours because you did not heed the advice of your agent who you were paying to think of these things".

Buyer- Well can't I still sue the seller? response -Attorney's next and final summary "Yes...BUT it will cost you more than fixing the problem yourself because you would have to give me a retainer and there is little to no chance you can prove the sellers hid this possible latent defect or even knew about it. If you can not prove it you could also be responsible for paying their costs"


Never DECLINE a Home Inspection and then decide to Sue the sellers. The system of checks and balances is there for these reasons and many more:

  1. Protect the buyer.
  2. Protect the Seller
  3. Give the buyer/seller peace of mind
  4. Home Warranties provide insurance for when there may be something that is missed in an inspection
  5. Get a home warranty if there is any doubt, inspect the home yourself with the inspector

Writing ChecksUse the Checks and Balances or you may be writing some more checks of your own if you decline the home inspection and decide to sue the seller.

Posted by

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Frank Laisch 04/18/2012 10:49 PM
  2. Brian Persons 04/19/2012 12:16 AM
  3. John McCormack 04/23/2012 01:55 PM
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Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I always advise clients to get a home inspection. I have only had one who turned me down. He felt he could conduct his own inspection. He didn't have any issues come up but he certainly could have.

Apr 19, 2012 01:37 PM #40
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


As Gene, #1, said, in California if the buyer declines to have a home inspection they must sign a waiver.  That protects me, the buyer's agent, from the buyer coming back and accusing me of failing to suggest a home inspection to the buyers.

Apr 19, 2012 02:24 PM #41
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Buyers can sue for anything. They should consult an attorney who can advice them. We should advice them to get the inspection.

Apr 19, 2012 09:26 PM #42
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I've had a case like this where the home warranty did not pay for a problem since it was a pre-existing problem that the buyers did not address.  (No inspection - No walk through, etc.)

Apr 19, 2012 09:38 PM #43
Joni Bailey
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

In Texas, they sign several forms telling them FOR YOUR PROTECTION, GET A HOME INSPECTION. But as you know, they can still sue if they really want to. But they can't say that they didn't know!

Apr 19, 2012 10:56 PM #44
Atlanta's Home Inspector, David Lelak IHI Home Inspections
IHI Home Inspections 404-788-2581 - Canton, GA
Experience the IHI Difference

You are absolutely right - peace of mind and protection! Sometimes we hear that agents cannot get their clients to budge from the attitude that they do not need an inspection. It can be difficult to convince someone who is dead set on not having the inspection. Although, we cannot fathom why a client would think it was a good idea to "assume" the house has no issues whether minor or major that need to be addressed.

Apr 20, 2012 01:37 AM #45
Don Sabinske
Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
Sabinske & Associates Inc.

I always thought that might be the case, but I am not an attorney.

Apr 20, 2012 01:53 AM #46
BRAD NEWTON-Pittsford NY- CBR®-SFR®-SRES®-Lic. R.E. Salesperson
RE/MAX Realty Group - Pittsford, NY
Helping Rochester Families Make the Right Move !

Dave: I am in total agreement.  Thank  you for your comment.

Sandy: It is part of ours but still buyers and agents are not diligent enough.

Eric: Yes demanding is more like it and it's one of the only warranties worth getting.

Erica: Thank you for the kudos.  Its not the questions that bothers me, it's the hassel that they want to accuse others of their irresponsibility

Joy: My point exactly.  And at what price to you, taking time away from generating business.

Kathy: I couldn't agree more.

Ed: It still seems history always repeats itself with individuals who think it won't happen to them.

Getchen: They hire an expert then not take their advice.

Christine: Yes except some of our clients lack that word called "Sense".

Joan: Well it could be possible the seller per chance never had the two different level faucets on at the same time to the defect was not discovered.  You obviously are doing a great job educating your buyers.

Tammie: Well in the XX number of transactions you may have had those are good odds.   Good Luck in 2012.

Evelyn: Declining the waiver does not prevent them from thinking they can still sue agent, seller etc, just gives as peace of mind that we reviewed and documented the declination.

Gita: The buyer did consult the attorney who wisely told them sorry, you will not have a case.  Thanks for commenting.

Gabe: Well there's a first.  Thanks for commenting on the case of a warranty not covering certain issues. 

Joni: I might have to use this little ditty in my presentation for buyers.  Thank you for your comment.

David & Bonnie: It's like a warranty on a new car, if it did not come with a warranty you are darn straight I would buy one.

Don: Well neither am I, and that's why I don't practice it. 



Apr 20, 2012 02:25 AM #47
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

The issue shouldnt be who to sue the seller, re agent, inspector, etc.  The problem is that the whole industry has conditioned people to not accept any responsibility for the home they are buying, when you buy a new home there should be risk as there is in all of life, to always deflect blame is turning us into a bunch of irresponsible sue happy children.

And in this particular instance it is not even a defect, sounds like a house pecurliarity, water presure drops off when too many facets are turned on, most people would just learn to deal with this, as the previous residents did.

So instead of playing CYA, tell your clients to be responsible for their own purchase and grow up!

Apr 20, 2012 03:45 AM #48
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

Buyers who decline an inspection sign a form stating that I recommended a professional home inspection. But in my state I am not sure this would afford much protection.

Apr 20, 2012 01:30 PM #49
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Nothing protects all parties involved like a thorough home inspection.  It's always best to have all the cards layed out on the table!  A quality home inspection is never expensive, it is priceless!

Apr 21, 2012 12:12 AM #50
Paula McDonald
Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury - Granbury, TX
Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Bradley,  I continue to be amazed when I hear and see stories like this.  Whenever I get a buyer that doesn't want to pay the money for the inspection I give them scenarios of what can happen and how the cost of an inspection is a drop in the bucket for what they might end up paying for down the road.

Apr 21, 2012 03:06 AM #51
BRAD NEWTON-Pittsford NY- CBR®-SFR®-SRES®-Lic. R.E. Salesperson
RE/MAX Realty Group - Pittsford, NY
Helping Rochester Families Make the Right Move !

Bob: You hit it on the nail with responsibility and peculiarity.

Doug: It's the only protection they currently have.

Steve: You are correct unfortunately most people want to nickel and dime their way through a home purchase.

Paula: I agree, they will pay one way or another.  Thanks for stopping by.

Apr 21, 2012 06:02 AM #52
Mike Liess
Coldwell Banker Custom Realty - Penfield, NY

Brad, Great post.

Inspections should always be pat of a buyers purchase. In some cases a buyer will want to pass on an inspection and a waiver of inspection should be a common practice not only to cover yourself (the agent and broker) for liability but to make sure that your client truly understands that they are waving their opportunity to inspect the property. As agents we should make sure we are educating our clients!!!!

Apr 21, 2012 11:53 AM #53
Re/Max Custom
RE/MAX Custom - Rochester, NY

Great Post Bradley

Congrats on your first featured blog on activerain.

Everyone at REMAX Custom is very proud.

Apr 21, 2012 12:14 PM #54
Laurie Interlicchia
RE/MAX Custom - Rochester, NY

Nice blog post Brad

Goes to show why every buyer should always get an inspection.


Apr 21, 2012 12:20 PM #55
BRAD NEWTON-Pittsford NY- CBR®-SFR®-SRES®-Lic. R.E. Salesperson
RE/MAX Realty Group - Pittsford, NY
Helping Rochester Families Make the Right Move !

Mike: Point well taken.

Laurie: Always is the key word there Laurie, thanks for stopping by.

Apr 22, 2012 12:41 AM #56
Bob & Leilani Souza
Souza Realty 916.408.5500 - Roseville, CA
Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments

Bradley, congratulations on this well-deserved featured post! It's a great scenario you described and I hope buyers who are thinking of skipping the home inspection find this post or one of its re-blogs. :)


Apr 25, 2012 12:17 PM #57
BRAD NEWTON-Pittsford NY- CBR®-SFR®-SRES®-Lic. R.E. Salesperson
RE/MAX Realty Group - Pittsford, NY
Helping Rochester Families Make the Right Move !

Leilani: Thank you for the kudos.  We can only hope to educate all buyers in this area whether they are out clients or not.  There are some people out there who may not have our same morals.  

Apr 25, 2012 01:43 PM #58
Eugene Kanciar
EKAN Home Inspection - West Vancouver, BC
Our Experience, Your Peace-of-Mind

A home inspection is only as valuable as the experience of the inspector. None-the-less many buyers source inspections by best price, meaning lowest price, rather than doing their due dilligence and choosing the best candidate for their particular situation. Consider looking at these factors when choosing an inspector:

  • What are the qualifications and certifications?
  • Does the local community consider the inspector a subject matter expert?
  • Does the inspector readily share knowledge through social media or is it all confidential and not accessible to the public?

The above criteria provides a measure beyond price to help choose the best candidate for your real estate decision.


Apr 23, 2018 09:22 AM #59
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