"Subject to interior viewing" or "Drive by only"

When a property is advertised as “subject to interior inspection” or “drive by only” a potential buyer may drive by the property to view the exterior, but must submit a reasonable offer to the seller prior to viewing the interior. This seems out of the ordinary for buyers accustomed to viewing a property before submitting an offer.

Typical of income and multi-family properties (duplexes, triplexes, 4-plexes/quadraplexes, and 5+ unit properties) that are not usually owner occupied, this term is set in place to avoid disturbing leasing tenants residing in the homes. Once an offer is accepted a viewing of the interior of the property will be arranged. An offer is merely conditional as long as “subject to interior viewing” is included in the terms. This means that the buyer may back out of the offer within an allotted time period if they do not wish to proceed with the sale.

Typically, we will use the following language in our buyer's contracts:

“Offer is subject to buyer and / or buyer representative’s interior viewing. Seller shall provide access to perform a walk-through of the interior of the __ units and the common areas within 3 days of mutual acceptance.  Buyers will have 24 hours from the walk-through to terminate the offer with earnest money being returned to the buyer. If buyer does not terminate within 24 hours, this contingency shall be deemed satisfied.”


Q: What happens when you get to do an interior inspection, and you don't like what you see?

A: You can withdraw your offer.  Your offer was submitted subject to interior viewing, after you inspect the interior of the property and it's not quite what you were thinking, you can simply walk away, or renegotiate the price. 

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