Dog Cancels Contract!

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 27 November 2018 12:12

Home buyers will typically visit several homes before deciding which are of interest to them. Once they see what they like they may wish to make an offer on the home. In today’s active market buyers do not always have the luxury of multiple visits and time for a lot of research before making an offer. Fortunately, in most cases, the Buyer is offered an inspection period to further research the details of a home.

Many buyers believe that the inspection is limited to a physical inspection of the building, but in most states (Arizona being one of them) the inspections(s) cover a broad spectrum of items which may be material to the buyer’s long-term enjoyment of the home. One thing that I like to stress to buyers when showing homes is to observe what is going on in the neighborhood. Any number of issues could arise, and after all, once they move in they are going to deal with these issues on a daily basis.

So as an example, look around to see the condition of other homes in the neighborhood. Are they being maintained? Is the street quiet during the day, but busy at night? Listen to the sounds you hear. Do the neighbor kids have a garage band that hasn’t yet found their sound?

One item that can become a real issue between neighbors are pets, in particular, barking dogs. A barking dog or dogs can quickly wear on your nerves and can be the source of real disagreement between neighbors.

Whenever I show a home, not only do we walk the yard, we listen. But one visit to the home may not be enough. On any given day the neighbors may be out of town, or just away for a few hours. When they return later so do their pets.

Recently I had a situation where I showed a home to a buyer on a weekend and during our visit all was quiet, the birds were singing and everything was peaceful. But when we returned during the weekday for the home inspection there were two dogs next door (you know the yappy kind that never seems to shut up) and they were not happy with our presence. The buyer, of course, was worried: “Will I be able to deal with this noise every day?” She even commented that "Had I known about the dogs, I might not have offered on this house!"

What as an agent are you to do? Of course, you want to see the sale go through, but you must also protect your client. In our case, we discussed the buyer’s options according to the contract that she had signed and some options for further research. As it turns out after discussion with several of the neighbors she found that it was an issue that they had also had previously tried to resolve with no success. The buyer then chose to invoke their right to cancel the contract based on the discovery of new information during the inspection period.

In this case, the presence of noisy dogs led to the cancellation of the sales contract. It was an unfortunate and costly situation. But all part of the due diligence process.

Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix & Scottsdale metro area. You can follow Joe's real estate blog at From The Outside Looking In or find more great information by visiting his website at

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Joseph Domino

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