3 Ways to Protect Your Purchase:
Real estate transactions depend upon good faith between buyers and sellers. Unfortunately, sellers don’t always extend this courtesy during a real estate trade. In particular, sometimes buyers are very upset when they discover on moving day that the home they purchased was altered or damaged after their offer was accepted.
3 ways to protect your property:
1. Insert protective clauses in the offer. This could include clauses that speak to the state of the home and its contents on completion date. If there are substantial changes or damage to the home or its contents, the clauses could require the seller to either restore the property to its original condition or compensate the buyer for any necessary repairs.
The offer could also include a clause that allows your client to have a pre-closing visit close to the actual closing day. This will enable the buyer to confirm that the home is in the same condition as when they first saw it, and that the seller has completed any agreed-upon repairs. Remember that pre-closing visits are negotiable. Should the buyer believe that more than one is necessary based on your advice, you could insert a condition to conduct additional visits when you draft the buyer’s offer.
2. Take pictures and document the model and serial numbers for the appliances and other chattels and fixtures that are included with the property according to the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. This protects the buyer in case the seller attempts to replace these items with different models.
3. With a lawyer’s help, negotiate a holdback. Your client’s lawyer might be able to negotiate a holdback of $500 to $1,000 with the seller’s lawyer that would only be released to the seller after closing, once the buyer is satisfied the property is in good condition. This could be particularly relevant if there is reason to suspect the home won’t be delivered in the agreed-upon condition.