Closing on a new property is a very lengthy and involved process. Simply negotiating a sale price and other conditions for a transaction is only the initial stage of buying a home. The prospective property owner will need to finalize their financing, coordinate inspections and eventually sign the paperwork that will lead to the funding of their mortgage and the addition of their name to the property’s title.
Oftentimes, there will be a walk-through in the days immediately before the scheduled closing at a title office or even the day of the signing. Buyers expect that final walk-through to simply be a technical requirement, but sometimes they spot major issues with the property that weren’t there before or that were undisclosed. The sellers or their moving company may have damaged the property while vacating the premises, for example.
What happens when there is significant damage uncovered during that last walk-through?
People may need to renegotiate or reschedule
Depending on the severity of the damages to the property, there are multiple options available. Provided that the sellers hired professional movers with proper insurance, it may be possible to make a claim for issues like cracked tile, broken windows and damaged drywall. When sellers move on their own or rely on friends and family to help them with the move, they may be personally responsible for those damages.
Buyers may need to renegotiate a few terms, such as requiring an adjustment to the sale price that reflects the cost of the repairs or adding language to the agreement that will require the seller to cover the cost of repairs before the buyer takes possession. In some cases, such as a same-day walk-through immediately prior to closing, they may need to reschedule the closing or even cancel it until they can reach an amicable agreement with the seller.
Usually, those who have already moved out of a property and agreed to a sale price for it are eager to finalize the transaction and will work with a buyer when there is new damage to the property that was not there during the initial showing or the formal inspection. Knowing how to handle issues that arise during real estate transactions can help buyers avoid common pitfalls that can cause heartache and financial strain during and after a real estate purchase.