Sellers scurry to pack and take care of negotiated repairs. Buyers are busy packing and finishing up last minute mortgage details. The end of a transaction nears.
As a buyer's representative, it becomes hectic also towards the last days of a transaction. Many critical time frame dates to make sure has been completed to meet contract terms. Balls from all sides are being juggled.
The sellers have completed required and agreed repairs. Receipts have been given to the buyer's agent as proof of completion. Is the next step and one of the most critical steps missed as we head for closing? The buyer's walk through and acceptance of property.
When the buyer says ... I feel just fine about the repairs and don't have time to make a walk through before close then red flags should be waived. I have often had no walk throughs prior to close and this just puzzles me. Even if the sellers are still in the midst of packing and moving this should be done. Ideally the walk through takes place after the home is vacated, clean and ready to be conveyed. But sometimes that just cannot be achieved.
The WHY of a Buyer's Walk Through:
- Gives the buyer a chance to personally see that the repairs were done properly.
- Another inspection may need to be done to validate proper completion of repair by the home inspector.
- When repair is done things can happen such as further damage .. the unfortunate domino affect that sometimes takes place, Murphy's law at its finest.
- A vacant home can also reveal stains on carpet. I often see where furniture has stained the carpet as it has bleed the stain in over time. Validation of the home is left in the agreed manner.
- Gives time to troubleshoot and negotiate a resolution instead of a 9-1-1 drill.
- The buyer can refuse to close or negotiate funds being withheld if there is damage or repairs not properly addressed or competed.
The Big WHY for Agents - Liability. You want to make sure all has been done right, no matter what side of the transaction you are on. Never say the home warranty company will take care of that problem or be prepared to pay for it yourself when you find out they won't cover it. Caution - agents, don't do the walk for them even if they are out of town. Have them designate someone on their behalf (not you) to do this. I don't have to even explain the lawsuit potential that kind gesture will have down the road.
Be sure to obtain a Buyer's Acceptance of Property Condition signed off form from the buyer and listing agents ask for it or provide one to be signed at close if not before.
A prudent professional will not only protect their clients but themselves when they make it a practice of taking their buyers through to approve the repairs and condition.