When entering a contract to purchase a home make sure there is a provision that gives you the right to inspect the property within 24 -48 hours prior to the closing. Once the closing date is scheduled, make sure you schedule this “walk through” with your realtor for the day before the closing. Here are some tips and strategies which will keep you focused so that you leave the home confident that you covered everything.
1. Do not waive the walk through. Once you close on the home and you get the keys, the issues you may discover once you return there after the closing will be your issues.
2. Always go with your real estate agent. If verification of a problem is needed and the agent saw the problem as well, he or she can confirm this.
3. Bring your camera or phone to take pictures of the issues. Make sure you bring them to the closing.
4. Turn on/off all major appliances to confirm that they are working.
5. Check the basement for water seepage and for things left behind by seller.
6. Run water and look under sinks for leaks.
7. Turn on/off all light fixtures.
8. Run all exhaust fans.
9. Flush all toilets.
10. Open and close all doors.
11. Test heating and air conditioning systems (even if off season).
12. Check garage door openers.
13. Check alarm system.
14. Inspect ceilings, walls and floors.
15. Check repairs that seller contractually agreed to make.
When you arrive at your closing, bring any issues to your attorney’s attention right away. An experienced real estate attorney in most cases can either negotiate a repair credit for outstanding issues or in the alternative establish an escrow agreement with the sellers. The escrow agreement option is usually the choice where the parties can’t agree on the amount of the repair credit. Most escrow agreements will require that the seller’s attorney hold back a certain sum of money to assure that certain repairs are made by a certain date. If they are not completed by the established deadline, then the buyer will have the right to arrange for the repair and obtain reimbursement for the cost of the repairs from the escrow fund.
The most important tip of all throughout this process is to stay focused and let your attorney do the negotiation.
The Law Offices of William J. Reinhardt, Jr. has been representing buyers real estate closings for 25 years. Put my experience in your corner on your real estate purchase. Call 718-377-8880 or e-mail [email protected] for a free consultation.
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