"Is it just ME?" Correcting Inspection Issues Prior to Closing

By
Real Estate Broker with Keller Williams West Sound Realty

Okay, so I encountered one of those 'first time' events this past week.

 I am representing some Buyers on the purchase of a house in Port Orchard WA. They're a really sweet young Navy couple, first time Buyers, he just made Chief. We've been having a blast!

We went under contract and conducted our inspection. We petitioned the Sellers to remedy a reasonable list of items. Rather than correct the issues, the Sellers offered a cash settlement to be credited to the Buyers at closing. After negotiating the dollar amount, both parties agreed, and onto 'Pending' we go.

This past Friday I contacted the Seller's Agent to request permission for some 3rd party contractors (an AC & Heating Technician, and an Electrician) to gain access to the home to make some the repairs specified by the inspection report. This way, my Buyers can have the charges paid out of escrow from their credit.

The Seller's Agent informed me that the Sellers refused our request. They don't want anyone messing around, tearing stuff up, until AFTER closing.

I assured the Seller's Agent that we would draft a 'Hold Harmless' addendum, absolving the Seller's of any liability. I also stated that I would be present during any and all repair work, to ensure the safety and integrity of the home.

The Seller's still refused us access.

I'm curious. Is it just me? I mean, in all my real estate experience, I've never had this happen. It's fairly common for repair work to be done prior to closing, either by the Seller or the Buyer. I almost feel as though the Sellers are hiding something. The house was a rental, and is currently vacant.

Am I missing something? Should I have done something differently? Unfortunately, this is a VA purchase and the VA underwriters only allow a certain amount of money to be credited to the Buyers.

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Tags:
va transaction
inspection repairs
credits at closing

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Ambassador
248,503
Fran Gatti
Realtor, CDPE, RDCPro - Crescent City CA Real Esta
RE/MAX Coastal Redwoods
I think Lenn is right on with her comment.  I had an escrow where $6000 in repairs were done and the buyers backed out the day before close.  My seller kept the $1000 deposit, but it was little consolation to him as he gained a $5000 debt to the pest company.  As the listing agent, I would insist the buyers increase their deposit to cover the work, just in case. 
October 15, 2007 12:15 AM
Rainmaker
53,160
Sara Washburn
Keller Williams Greater Snohomish & King County

Hi Rich,

A few good people touched on it already, the sellers desire to minimize responsibility for repairs. I don't think it's necessarily a result of hiding something. How are your buyers taking it? It still sounds like a good home, and if it cleared VA inspection, the repairs needed must be minimal...

 

October 15, 2007 01:17 AM
Ambassador
526,946
Rich Jacobson
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
Keller Williams West Sound Realty
Yeah, we'll work through it. My sense is that the house is fine. The repairs are fairly minimal, but some are safety issues, so they will need to be completed prior to them actually moving in. A slight inconvenience up front, but long term, not huge.
October 15, 2007 09:23 AM
Rainer
44,782
Marty Van Diest
Your Alaskan Realtor
Valley Market Real Estate

Yep Rich...It's just you on the this one.

While I have had a few sellers agree to let a buyer do repairs before closing, it is a rare thing.  Usually they want not only a hold harmless, they also want the money in hand to pay for the repairs if the transaction doesn't close.  That is, they want a non-refundable deposit equal to more than the estimate for repairs.

I have had very occasionally a seller allow a buyer to do minor repairs before closing.

I recently was called into the middle of a FSBO transaction to rescue both parties after repairs were made, and early occupancy was begun only to find out that the well went dry before closing.  That was a very long and tough transaction that we finally closed.  I worked on a consultant basis.  It was a nightmare that deserves it's own chapter in my memoirs.

October 16, 2007 02:43 AM
Rainmaker
868,817
Adrian Willanger
Profit from my two decades of experience
206 909-7536 TheHomeFunnel.com

Hi Rich,

Good topic with some very good remarks. I have a similar issue now where a buyer wants to get in and makes some repairs prior to closing. They're making the EM not refundable, which is rather large, which should cover any costs, but still concerned about liability. 

August 15, 2013 07:55 AM
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