Welcome to Rhode Island!!
Donnie Bennett

TODAY I KILLED A DEAL!! And I couldn’t be happier for my client!!

My job is to represent my clients best interests. Pure and simple. As a result of that, not every transaction we start – MUST be completed.
When a property goes under contract… the thought with some is that it’s AS GOOD AS SOLD!!!! Well… that is NOT the case.
When a property goes under contract there are many things that can derail the process. A low appraisal; a sellers inability to move forward; death; divorce; job loss; or a rejection by the lending institution… are all circumstances that can cause a once-solid purchase and sales agreement to be reduced to nothing.
But – every great agent will tell you – there is one item that consistently overshadows nearly EVERY real estate transaction… and brings the biggest chance for a sale to be killed off.
It is feared by listing agents and sellers alike… ESPECIALLY when the home has issues that might be considered detrimental to the functionality or safety of the home.
In Rhode Island (and many other states)… the period to conduct home inspections is 10 business days, excluding weekends and holidays. That translates to TWO full weeks for the buyer to successfully navigate the home inspection process. This is called the “inspection contingency period”.
The reason why sellers have a lot to worry about in that first two weeks of signing their contract is that – during the inspection period – the buyer can elect to TERMINATE THE TRANSACTION… FOR ANY REASON. In fact, no documentation of the home inspection needs to be offered to the seller to do so. The buyer is then entitled to their earnest money deposit and is able to walk away from the transaction without a worry. This leaves the seller in the unenviable position of having to return the property to the market, in hopes of procuring another ready, willing and able buyer.
Not fun.
These days the best home inspectors are fully booked and I’m seeing situations where the only available opportunity for the home inspection to be conducted turns out to be very close to the final day of the inspection period. This tends to leave some sellers on edge. Because there literally does not even have to be anything harshly wrong with the home in order for the buyer to change their mind about moving forward.
In some cases… due to the schedule of the inspectors, there needs to be an EXTENSION to the inspection period – in order to compensate for the fact that the buyers will lose their rights to utilize the inspection period if they aren’t able to get their inspections done in time.
Some sellers comply, some do not.
If a buyer fails to have their home inspection within the two week time frame, and they end up deciding to invoke their right to exit the transaction AFTER the inspection period has elapsed, they can STILL escape the contract… but they will LOSE THEIR DEPOSIT MONEY.
This is why (when you’re the buyer) I feel it’s best to contact your home inspector of choice about their schedule BEFORE signing a purchase and sales agreement. This way it can be an item that MUST be agreed to up front, rather than an item that the seller can potentially reject when you truly need it.
Now that you have the backstory…
YES!! I KILLED A DEAL!! And yes… it was over the home inspection.
My client truly loved what this home had to offer her and her family. A nice little ranch on a dead end street in area that is much more comfortable for her than where she lives now. But under the surface – LITERALLY – there are huge problems.
The home inspector discovered foundation issues immediately – before even entering the home. Once inside the basement, he found more. But it was a question mark as to why the property was experiencing these issues.
I took a walk around to the neighboring homes and noticed misaligned roofs on the abutting homes… and a chimney that has become completely detached from a home, just two doors down. I then grabbed the home inspector and showed him my findings. Which provided an answer to correspond with his findings.
The home appears to have been built on a sinkhole. There is evidence of SEVERE settling. And not just that. There is evidence that the settling has been covered up (probably by a previous owner) and the work has already been exposed by MORE settling.
Clearly this area has soil shifting, and the builder didn’t care to worry about the compaction of the soil. Every home in that area has foundation issues that are visible from the exterior.
My client was sad, but we will keep hunting to find her something that is not only a great place to call home… but is also SAFE for decades to come!!
Thanks to the inspection… and thanks to that very NECESSARY clause in the standardized contracts we use… a few hundred dollars spent on a good home inspector just saved my client hundreds of thousands of dollars and the potential headaches of a literal money-pit of a home.

Whether MONEY IS NO OBJECT… or if EVERY PENNY COUNTS… for more information on YOUR MARKET, or on a specific property, please reach me for REAL ANSWERS to your REAL ESTATE questions!
401-383-4400 (Office)

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Donnie Bennett

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Donnie Bennett

Team Leader, Residential Expert, REALTOR®


401-269-9615401-269-9615 main


931 Jefferson Blvd., Suite 2006 - Warwick, RI 02886

Donnie Bennett, REALTOR®​ Serving Rhode Island