You have spent days looking for that dream home…you find it! You buy it. You do inspections, get a mortgage, order a survey and secure insurance. So now you are happy and can’t wait to move into your perfect home. Except…
After signing the closing documents, you go look at the house and it does not look the same. Your agent hands you a gift card and tells you what a wonderful property you bought…you are puzzled…and not so happy.
Appliances that you thought were to stay with the house are missing… Seller took the waterbed so now carpet is missing where the bed was. There are holes in the wall where the pictures were. The inground pool is green and the grass is 3 feet high. Seller agreed to repaint the family room and instead did some spot touch ups with gloss paint on the walls that had flat paint. Ugh…why bother?
If you think that does not happen, think again…
Are you totally stuck? Or can you renegotiate? You are seriously heartbroken and unsure of what to do. We do know what to do and always fix your problem BEFORE YOU CLOSE. If there are surprises found, we address those before you, the buyer, sign on the dotted line. The property must be in the same condition as when you bought it.
The seller cannot remove light fixtures or replace ceiling fans with something of lesser quality. If the condition of the property has changed, you do not have to accept something of reduced value. Your buyer’s agent should negotiate a resolution…maybe…
If you hired a true buyer agent, they will take care of these conflicts for you. If you hired a transaction broker, chances are that you are left on your own. First let’s talk about what can happen, and then we will give you the solution.
Meanwhile, here are 3 true stories about what did happened and how we solved it:
1. Seller takes the appliances: Seller removes (steals) the washer, dryer, and refrigerator. We do a walk thru and the top of the line appliances are simply gone. Yes, they are listed in the purchase contract. The contract clearly states that the appliances stay with the home. The seller pretends that they don’t understand and are already across state lines with your appliances
What the listing agent said: “Oh well, the seller was not planning on leaving it.”
What we said: The buyer bought the house with the appliances, so the seller will have to credit buyers so they can buy new ones. The replacements should be of equal value to what was taken.
Final Resolution: Seller credited the buyer $6,000 for the theft of the appliances. Even if someone else steals the appliances, it is still the responsibility of the seller to correct.
2. Seller removes/replaces items: Seller removes home items that are attached: The security system, bathroom mirror, ceiling fans, lighting fixtures. We have even had a seller remove some of the pavers in the driveway…can you believe it?
What the listing agent said: “What was the seller thinking?”
What we said: We did not have to say much because the listing agent “got it” and was outraged with the sellers. I loved her, she was one of a kind who understood that the contract rules.
Final Resolution: Seller had to pay to have everything put back to its original condition. Even if the neighborhood kids trash the house, it is still the responsibility of the seller to fix. Seller cannot replace anything in the home, unless the buyer agrees.
3. Seller leaving trash: Seller leaves their unwanted trash, broken computers, old furniture, garbage and the home is left filthy. They also left cans of toxic material and even hundreds of pounds of broken windows in the yard.
What the listing agent said: “Seller did not have time, they tried to clean…errr what dirt?.”
What we said: Buyers should not be required to clean up the sellers dirt on a $450,000 home. The contract says that the property is to be left “clean”…that also means the inside of the stove and refrigerator.
Final Resolution: Seller paid professionals to haul off his garbage and clean the home spotless.
These true stories are just the tip of the iceberg…more serious things have happened. Conflicts and problems happen in every real estate transaction. Many sellers and their agent do not bother to read what the contract says and just operate on what they “think” or have done in the past..that is not acceptable. There are terms of the contract that prevail and then there is common sense. Buying a house does not mean that you must buy it full of junk or missing pertinent items like appliances. The most important thing is to hire the right agent…very few brokers in Florida promote the buyers best interest. We do…
So what can you do as a home buyer to protect yourself?
1. Hire a TRUE Buyers Agent…not a Florida Transaction Broker. You need an Exclusive Buyer Agent that works only in a buyer agency office. They solely work in the buyer’s best interest and never represent the seller. A transaction broker is only a “facilitator” with no loyalty to you. They cannot advocate for you. You need a dedicated buyer agent in your corner to always provide you the best options and resolve negative issues for you.
2. Do a walk thru prior to closing. Everything should look and be working the same as when you bought the property and did your home inspections. If something stopped working or the ceiling has some new stains, these issues are still a seller problem.
Don’t believe it, if someone is telling you that you signed an “as is” contract and it is now too late. If there are new deficiencies that have popped up since you signed the contract, it is not your obligation to accept.
The Florida Far-Bar contract allows you to do a walk thru to check the condition of the property before you pay for the house. It also allows you another follow-up walk thru if needed. The seller must leave the utilities on for the home buyer.
We always do a walk thru prior to closing and if the buyer is not available, we still do the walk thru. That is what a true buyer agent does. We take no short cuts.
3. What can you do now? Renegotiate the problem. Until you already sign the closing documents and the money is funded, it is still the sellers problem to fix. If something is not right it needs to be taken care of. We always work to fix the matter of contention in the buyer’s best interest.
Let’s face it, if you are buying a fixer upper property that you plan to renovate, then it is considered acceptable if “things” are not perfect. However, if you are buying a nice house and more importantly paying top market value, then you should not be expected to start fixing problems that were not there 30 days ago when you bought the property.
Worried about buying a home? We can help…we only and always are on your side. We will make sure that you do not have any outstanding issues BEFORE you close. CALL Buyers Broker of Florida for a confidential and complimentary chat about your best home buying options. 407-539-1053.
In case you can not view this video here, please click the link below to view Can You Renegotiate Your House on Closing Day? on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Frt_dFMnBXs&feature=youtu.be