Home Selling in 92868>Question Details

Renee, Home Seller in Irvine, CA

Can a buyer demand additional repairs upon final walk-thru? Buyer states he will withold funds if I don't

Asked by Renee, Irvine, CA Fri Dec 5, 2008

comply. Is this legal?

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Answers

13
Hi Renee,

The main thing to know is that everything is negotiable on every deal until the last minute. If they have released all their contingencies and you have fulfilled what you agreed to on the request for repairs, then you are in the right. I'm sorry the agent is representing both sides, but at the risk of annoying every other agent out there.....have him/her pay for anything new out of commission. If they don't go through with the escrow, you are entitled to their deposit and damages if they have removed contingencies....if the broker is handling both sides, then they might not have and it will be more difficult to collect the deposit.

Good luck....

Karen
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 16, 2009
The "Final Walk-Thru" form is actually called VERIFICATION OF PROPERTY CONDITION (BUYER FINAL INSPECTION) CAR Form VP Revised 4/07.

It says:

The purpose of this inspection is to satisfy the Buyer regarding the condition of the Property. Buyer and Seller understand and agree that unless otherwise agreed in a the prior contractual agreement between Buyer and Seller: (i) a final inspection is not a contingency of the purchase and sale, and (ii) the inspection or waiver is not intendedd in any way to alter the contractual obligations of Seller regarding the condition of Property to be delivered to Buyer at possession date. The inspection or waiver is not based upon any statement or representation by Broker(s), Associate-Licensee(s) or brokerage employees. The undersigned agree to hold Broker(s), Associate licensees and brokerage employee harmless from any liability, claims, demands, damages or costs arising out of the contractual obligations of the Buyer and Seller concerning the condition of the property.

1. Buyer acknowledges that: (1) Property is in substantially the same condition as on the date of acceptance of the offer to purchase/sell; and (2) Seller has completed any repairs, alterations, replacements or modifications as agreed to by Buyer and Seller with the following exceptions:


THERE ARE SEVERAL BLANK LINES TO WRITE IN ANY EXCEPTIONS FOLLOWED BY ->

The evaluation of the condition of the Property, including any items listed above, is based upon a personal inspection by Buyer and/or tests, inspections, or other studies performed by inspector(s) selected by Buyer.

----AT THE END OF THE FORM THERE IS SOME DISCLAIMER LANGUAGE -----



So, having outlined the form the Buyer will sign and to answer your question, the simple answer is NO. Howvever, it really depends on what they are requesting. Is anything left undone that was supposed to have been corrected? Is it reasonable? or are they just trying to get a price reduction through the Final Verification? And finally, do you want your transaction to close? I personally detest a "bait and switch" tactic where a buyer gets all the way to the end of a deal and then makes demands or they will hold back funds.

If the Purchase Agreement and any Counter-Offers and/or Addenda were written and agreed to correctly and all the contingencies have been removed, both the Buyer and the Seller need to perform to the letter of the Agreement.

Now, if the property condition has substantially changed - that's a different animal - as someone said earlier if something was working during the inspections and now does not - that's a problem. And, for example, if there has been a roof leak since inspections or the wild fires charred the siding of your house - that's a problem and these things would need to be corrected at your cost prior to closing.

The written Purchase Agreement is exactly that. I sincerely hope that all contingencies are removed if you are at the final walk-thru stage.

Talk to your Realtor or their Broker if not satisfied with the answer you receive. If you are still not satisfied, you'll need to consult with an attorney as we (Realtors) cannot provide legal advice. The last thing you need or want is legal proceedings in a Real Estate transaction- it holds up the sale and no one wins.

Best of luck,

Thom Colby
Web Reference: http://www.thomcolby.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 5, 2008
where's your agent Renee? They should be taking care of this for you. Were the repair items things that had been previously addresses, or brand new never discussed before?
Web Reference: http://www.maui4rent.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 5, 2008
Renee, So sorry this is happening. It soures what should be a happy closing. Find the repair report and make sure the contingences have been signed by all. A dual agent has to walk a fine line and if he scews up you will be the one to pay. Be glad there are sites like this where you can ask questions, get ideas and others opinions.
Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 2, 2009
Unless previously agreed upon, Buyer can not withhold funds from you. They may choose to cancel, but if they have removed their contingencies then you can keep their deposit. You can also tell them to perform within 24 hours to close or cancel escrow and keep their deposit. If your agent did not request the buyers to have them remove their contingencies he may not have been looking for out for your best interest. You may want to contact a lawyer to advice you of your rignts.
Web Reference: http://TheOCmls.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 2, 2009
Renee,

The purpose of the final walk through is to insure the condition of the home is as it was when the contract was written and that all necessary requested repairs have been made. The contract normally does not provide for the identification and addition of more repairs.

Check you contract closely. Your process should be clearly outlined.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 16, 2009
HI Renee
If you did all the repairs requested on the repair request form and contingencies removed the only additional demands could be from new damage since inspection. If the buyer did not hire an inspector it would be very hard to prove condition or repairs needed on their part. Cancelling on your part could put you into a legal mess with buyer suing for specific performance and forcing the sale costing you legal fee's. If they fail to bring all the money to escrow you may be able to keep their deposit. If they are minor repairs..ask the agent
to cover the costs..he/she is getting paid for both sides. I would do it to keep the transaction in escrow and everyone happy. Just a thought. Good Luck
Web Reference: http://www.Homes2Hearts.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 5, 2008
Renee,
Anyone can make demands but there is a signed contract in place that should clearly outline the procedures at hand.

Review your inspection report and be sure all identified repairs were made and you have receipts available to prove the work was completed.

As previously mentioned, the purpose of the "walk through" is to confirm all repair work was completed and varify the condition of the home is as it should be. This is certainly NOT the time to be introducing new demands.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 5, 2008
Thank you, all, for your input. These are brand new issues. I took care of the original requests. It seems to me that this buyer is taking advantage of this "buyer's market" or possibly "stalling". The units were actually rehabbed into much better condition than when he entered contract, as one of the tenants decided to cease paying rent, moved out and left it thrashed! I am into this waaaay more than originally agreed upon. I am being bled dry.

I believe part of the problem is that the broker is double-ending this deal. BIG mistake on my part. I am prepared to cancel, as I now have 2 new tenants and the units are in great shape now.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 5, 2008
Renee -

The final walk-thru is for confirmation purposes as outlined below. The buyer should be confirming repairs were made and that the home is in same condition as when they made the offer. This is not the time to ask for "new" repairs unless the condition did not exist or was not disclosed during the contract/contingency period.

An example of a reasonable repair request would be the linoleum being damaged during the removal of the seller refrigerator. The damage was not there when the offer was made, and therefore the floor should be returned to the original state.

CJ
Web Reference: http://www.TalkToCJ.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 5, 2008
Renee,

Best look at your contract and ask your agent, but that would not be customery for the buyer to ask for repairs of items not previously agreed upon. However, he/she should recieve the home in the similar condition they viewed it upon inspection. If the A/C was working then, and it is not working now, then you should fix it. If they are just conducting a new home inspection, then I hope your agent removed "All Contingencies."

Joe Homs
Realty Partners
joe@joehoms.com
949-625-4533
Web Reference: http://www.joehoms.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 5, 2008
Renee.... Usually your contract dictates the time period for the buyer's inspections and request for repairs to be made. A repair request should have been written and signed by both parties as to those repairs which seller agreed to make. However, if damages occured after the home inspections were completed, this might result in you making additional repairs. You should consult with a qualified real estate attorney to see what your obligations are pursuant to the contract and real estate law in your state.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 5, 2008
Renee,
In Florida the final walk-thru inspection is only to make sure that repairs that were requested were made and are satisfactory to the buyer. And also to make sure that items that were included (stove, refrigerator, a/c, etc.) in the contract are still present on the property. It is not an opportunity to look for new things you want fixed. I don't know what the rules in California are but it doesn't sound right to me. Do you have an agent representing you? I hope so. They should be able to help you in this matter.

Trey Miller
Web Reference: http://www.TampaTrey.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 5, 2008
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