Buyer’s Last Visit to Property Before Closing (Ontario)

By
Commercial Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)

Buyer’s Last Visit to Property Before Closing

Question:

What should you actually be doing at the Buyer’s last visit?

Answer:

This situation is very well-handled in several other jurisdictions, particularly where Title Insurance companies handle the transfer. Someone from the insurance company comes out, completes a final inspection in the presence of both the Seller and the Buyer, tests everything to see that it’s working as provided and the Agreement and gets the parties to sign off on the condition of the premises. If there is a problem, a holdback will be agreed upon and the deal will be closed.

A similar arrangement exists in Ontario with respect to new home sales.

However, when it comes to resale residential properties, we are back to the same rules that we have had for several hundred years:

  •         There is a right to attend and inspect for damage that occurred since the APS
  •         That right does not involve testing the appliances etc.
  •         There is no right to take pictures
  •         There is no right to bring others
  •         The time period is limited in duration
  •         There is no right to holdback funds

The difficulty is that this present arrangement is somewhat insufficient to protect the Buyer.

And, at what point in time did your graduate from “appliance school”? Inspection is not covered under the OREA education program for obvious reasons. Also, if you break something, it’s yours!

So, clearly if you would like to inspect, test, photograph, bring others, stay all day or holdback funds, then it would be best to set this out in the agreement, otherwise you are simply testing the goodwill of the Seller.

If there is a major difficulty, a Court has authority to decide upon a suitable holdback.

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Brian Madigan

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