You Should Consider An Early Walk-Through Inspection
Over the past several months I have been getting calls the day of or the night before closing regarding repairs that had not yet been completed or items that had been removed from the property that were supposed to remain. Whether you are the selling or listing agent, this is the last thing that want to be dealing with at this time. This post will provide a few suggestions on how to hopefully minimize the chance of this happening on one of your closings.
While some of you already ask for an early walk-through inspection in the Amendment to Address Concerns, it is certainly not the norm. I would strongly suggest that you include language similar to the following in the Amendment to Address Concerns:
“The Seller shall have all items set forth in this amendment completed in a good and workmanlike manner no less than seven (7) days before the Closing Date. Any and all invoices relating to the repairs shall be provided to the Buyer at this time. Buyer shall have the right to enter the Property at this time to ensure that the repairs were properly completed. This seven day walk-through inspection shall be in addition to the walk-through conducted the day before or day of closing.”
For the selling agent this language (assuming it’s actually done) should alleviate some of the pressure that many of you feel going into the home for a final walk-through. For the listing agent this language can be used to encourage his or her client to timely complete the required repairs. It also will provide the seller seven (7) days to complete repairs that were not timely completed and allow the parties plenty of time to address any new damage that has occurred at the home. Trying to handle these types of problems the night before or day of closing can cause a delay (as many of you know all too well).
The final walk-through now can be used just to ensure that no significant damage has occurred to the home (or checking to make sure any repair items that were not timely completed are in fact complete). Adding this language in the Amendment to Address Concerns should be a win-win for all parties involved.
The early walk-through inspection also can be used to confirm (if the seller is already out of the home) that all items that were to remain with the Property (per the Seller’s Disclosure) have in fact been left behind. If the seller has not yet moved out of the home, the selling agent should send an email to the listing agent to remind his or her client of the items that must remain. There are few things worse in connection with a closing than conducting a final walk-through only to learn that all fixtures have been removed and are on a moving truck to Alaska.
Will adding the early walk-through inspection language guarantee that all repairs will be complete? No. Will it minimize some of the issues that commonly disrupt a smooth closing process? It should. Obviously the language above may need to be modified based on your particular transaction, but it’s a start.
As always, if you need help with anything at all, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime at (912) 484-1996 (even nights and weekends) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.