Deafening Silence, Post-Inspection:
When Hours Seem Like Days
The inspection was completed, but the Buyer has been uncharacteristically incommunicado.
What’s the likeliest explanation?
A. The inspection was a disaster, and the Buyer intends to back out.
B. The inspection went fine, but the Buyer got cold feet anyways . . . and intends to back out.
C. The Buyer is busy documenting a major defect (cracked foundation, worn-out roof, etc.). Or several(!) of them.
D. The Buyer is cooking up a long list of bogus issues, in an effort to renegotiate the sales price.
E. The Buyer’s agent is taking care of a sick kid, has out-of-town guests, or ??? and turned off their cell phone.
Inspection Disaster? Usually Not
While the wait can be agonizing for Sellers, the vast majority of the time, any delay in hearing from the Buyer, post-inspection, is usually benign.
Other frequent explanations: it is the Buyer’s agent (not their kid) who’s sick; the Buyer’s agent is tied up with other deals, handling multiple offers, etc.; the Buyer or Buyer’s kid is sick (detect a theme?); someone’s traveling and unreachable; and/or someone has a “technology issue” (often travel-related).
Unfortunately, the above explanations aren’t mutually exclusive.
Even if the news is bad, Sellers usually have to sit tight, and wait for the prescribed interval in the Purchase Agreement — in Minnesota, typically 10 calendar days — to elapse to do anything about it (like cancel the deal and move on, if that is what’s warranted).
Ironically, it’s possible for the Buyer’s agent to respond too quickly following an inspection.
That happens most often with newbie Realtors, who prematurely give Sellers the “all-clear.”
Then, once the Realtor has debriefed their client, had a chance to digest the written inspection report, etc. they discover ” lo and behold ” one or more issues the Buyer wants to raise with the Seller.
Try starting that conversation (“Umm . . . about that inspection earlier this week . . . “).