Builders Have it Right!

By
Residential Home Builder

Walk through before closing...when do you have your buyer do a walk through on a property in contract?

 Recently, we experienced frustration (as the listing agent) when a buyers agent  made the decision to have his buyer do a walk through on the property far too close to closing- the same day, in fact.

While some pristine offerings might engender this kind of schedule, this particular property had "issues" that involve a renter in place at the time of the initial viewing/purchase, and vacant at the time of the walk through.

Despite an inspection by a licensed professional being performed previously, there was reasoning behind requesting that the buyer please perform a walk through with a few days to spare- allowing time for any issues to be resolved between the parties (and NOT at the closing table).

I'm not so sure, whether representing a buyer or seller, that all scheduled walk throughs shouldn't offer latitude for potential issues- to the contrary, it seems common sense- irrespective of the condition of the property.

A day before allows issues to emerge, and time for both seller and buyer to resolve these issues pre-closing; perhaps my position remains solidified after having much new home construction experience.  A day before also appears close enough to closing that the property will remain in the condition of the walk through on the day of the closing.

An initial walk through; items corrected; final walk through the day of closing- typical builder process.

On resales, affording buyers and sellers 24 hours latitude between the walk through and closing seems to be common sense, yet is (clearly) a schedule that some simply don't subscribe to, insisting on a walk through hours before a closing.  On more than one occasion with cooperating brokers, so maybe it's us.

Perhaps I'm more cautious due to lawyers being involved in NY closings- the idea of a re-negotiation at the closing table doesn't appeal.  A closing should be a matter of signing paperwork, not a back and forth of renegotiation over issues that could easily be resolved between buyer and seller PRE CLOSING.

 For my seller, a walk through the day before is a measure of problem avoidance. For my buyer, a walk through the day before closing is a measure of problem avoidance.  Issues have time to be resolved.

Further, if my buyer performed a walk through with items unaddressed, there would BE no closing until the items were resolved- the closing table isn't going to be a place of negotiation. Our job is to make sure that all issues are resolved beforehand.  Lawyers might be fine with renegotiation at the nth hour; denigrating the closing day process for both buyer and seller when it's avoidable isn't on my radar.

Which returns me to the opinion that a walk through should never occur hours before a closing.  New or resale.

But, I could be wrong.

 

 

 

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the woman to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Comments 12 New Comment

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the foot to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Rainmaker
223,559
Laurie Mindnich

Larry, I think it's the previous builder experience that instilled the paranoia.  Even when it seems just fine, a homebuyer might find something that isn't fine- one in a hundred- and that's the tiny percentage that I'd like to eliminate by never having anyone walk their new home the day of closing- an extra day would allow for resolution outside of the closing table (wouldn't the seller prefer an arena outside of a closing table, too?)- but as mentioned, at our closings, two lawyers are waiting, so any issue leaves room for a closing disruption! Thank you for your input- it's appreciated.

September 13, 2011 07:42 PM
Rainmaker
499,164
Mitchell J Hall
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC
The Corcoran Group

Hi Laurie, I agree with you but I have had many the same day, an hour before the closing. Both new construction and reslaes. Lawyers and seller already at closing. I've had ones where we had to go from the closing to the property with attorneys.

New construction is better because of the punch list. Builder signs off on list and has 30 days after close to fix. Buyer rarely holds up closing usually moves in and the builder legally still has to honor punch list. At times I've been amazed the difference a day can make with new construction or conversion but usually new construction is never perfect by the walk thru or day of closing.

Bruce makes a good point because I've had buyers tell me when they moved in the A/C was gone. Did the seller come back after walk thru before closing and take out A/C?

In resales we sell "as is" just working appliances and "broom clean" but that can still be problematic, subjective, disputable and still negotiable.

September 14, 2011 10:23 PM
Rainmaker
223,559
Laurie Mindnich

Hi, Mitchell- a suggestion from a lawyer we work with was to have the buyer, at the walk through (irrespective of when it happens, but he counsels his buyer clients to close with at least 24 hours before a closing ) bring a date stamp camera and take photos- makes sense.  Yes...the broom clean isn't clear, either- too many chances that it can be interpreted differently!  I can't imagine having to leave the closing in order to go to the property...  Builders are different, as you note, because home buyers leave with a legal remedy for repairs- having that recourse makes all of the difference.  I was lucky- worked for some really good builders- where the punchlist was often completed pre-closing (at one, the construction team was provided a bonus for 0 items at a final walk), but that doesn't appear to be the norm.

September 15, 2011 05:54 AM
Rainer
18,384
Tara B. Downing
Homes For Sale - Mineola Port Washington
Village Properties

Laurie - I think we've all had problems with walk-throughs too early or too late. But, someday I'll post the video of the best walk-thru ever.  It was the night before closing and, while it wasn't new construction, we had a gut-renovated house around the block from our office being purchased by one of our favorite buyers ever.  They didn't want to bother walking through the house.  (In addition, another agent in my office was the listing agent - although it was just a lock-box sale.)

 

Well, the long and short of it is, my broker and I went with the purchasers to do the walk through.  My broker and the husband were in the basement.  His wife and I were on the second floor when we saw - yes - a possum in the bathroom.  We both screamed and literally ran into each other trying to get away.  To make a long story short, the Nassau County PD sent a crew who took the animal and threw it our of the house - literally just out the front door.  It took them over 1/2 hour with 3 policemen from animal control.  I'll never forget it.

It wasn't a walk through - it was a run and scream through followed by a 3 hour wait and shake through.

September 19, 2011 04:02 AM
Rainmaker
223,559
Laurie Mindnich

Tara, hilarious (although no doubt, not at the time)- possums unnerve me, as well, and I don't think I'd have been able to continue walking through the house without the animal control gal/guy going into every single room, closet, nook and cranny first!

I'd be wondering the whole time when a possum was going to drop from the ceiling with those sharp teeth...UGH- not sure my pics would be in focus!

September 19, 2011 07:29 AM
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the pants to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Rainmaker
223,559

Laurie Mindnich

Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the tree to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information

Having recently returned to Colorado after a 10 year hiatus, the changes are amazing- right along with the little trees that are now grown, new homes have undergone a similar growth- bigger, better, and more choices than ever!