In LA, isn't Seller supposed to provide keys (door, bldg, mailbox) and garage remotes to the Buyer AT HIS EXPENSE upon Closing? For 2BR, 2 sets?

Asked by Marianne, Los Angeles, CA Fri May 6, 2011

I'm buying a 2BR condo in Sherman Oaks. Closing is this month.

The Seller -- who is also a RE Agent and is the Selling Agent -- bought the apt at a Trustee Sale. He claims he doesn't have all the keys to the building or any remotes to the garage for the 2 parking spaces that come with the apt.

Seller said he doesn't want to bother with obtaining them -- probably from the HOA -- and he doesn't want to pay for them.

We're probably not talking a lot of $$ here, but to me it's the principle.

It's a flip, and he's making an easy $50K profit here. But even if he were making only 50 cents, shouldn't the Seller provide the Buyer at HIS expense with ALL keys and ALL remotes consistent with a 2BR apt?

Shouldn't these keys and remotes be submitted to the Buyer's Agent or Buyer at Closing? If not, when?

Who should hunt down the keys and remotes? Who should pay? Should there be TWO sets for a 2BR?

What is the protocol? What is common practice? Is it in the contract somewhere?

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Carmen Brode…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Mon May 23, 2011
Depends what your contract says. In Arizona the contract specifies exactly how many keys are required to be given to the purchaser.
1 vote
David Cooper, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Tue May 17, 2011
Hopefully, the expense of getting new locks and keys will be the "only" extra cost you have when buying a foreclosure. The surprises after you move in good cost a great deal more.

David Cooper. Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor and Buyer's Agent in Bank Owned REOs with Huge Cash Flow. For FREE daily list email: CALL +1-7024997037
1 vote
Bill Hays, Agent, Cardiff, AL
Tue May 17, 2011
While the seller may be obligated to provide keys et al, it doesn't always you can either fight it based on principle or suck it up. I would suggest that based on your situation with your silent second, you use the key issue as a way in which you are cooperating and suck it up. Further, your agent can arrange to get keys at the appropriate time, which if there is a lockbox, will come at no extra cost to the seller as those keys can be what is given to you. Access is the important issue here as let's face it, you are changing the locks first thing anyways. The remotes and mailbox keys, you or your agent will pay for. With the REO sale, I doubt the current owner got that stuff anyways.

You can't expect to get it all. Your agent already blew it on the second mortgage issue....don't push principles for nickels and dimes when you don't have a real reason to do so (other than agitating an already agitated seller) DESPITE what the contract may or may not say.

Now, if you go the per diem route on the other issue, maybe you throw in the expectation of the remote and keys being delivered to you at the seller expense if indeed the contract calls for that. But in general, the idea is to stop giving the seller reasons to be irritated with you since you are going to go outside the contract term to get this closed and need some level of seller cooperation to do so.

CA DRE#01775528
1 vote
Meredith McK…, Agent, Pasadena, CA
Sat May 7, 2011
Dear Marianne:

Your options are simple:

1. Check your purchase contract to confirm that the seller has agreed to deliver keys and remotes to you for the common areas and how many. The seller is generally only obligated to provide you with one set of keys, even if this is a 2 bedroom unit, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract.
2. If the seller has not agreed contractually to provide you keys to common areas or to only provide 'keys in his posession,' you will probably have to pay for the other keys and remotes yourself. REOs are often sold and delivered without all the keys being transferred to the buyer, so it is likely that this seller is telling the truth about the actual keys he has in his possession.
3. If the seller, however, has agreed contractually to provide you all keys and remotes, including to the common areas, and is still refusing to pay for/provide them, contact the agent/seller's real estate manager and seek his/her assistance in resolving the matter.
4. If the contract does not provide for you to get specific keys and remotes to the common areas due to the negligence of your buyer's agent, it is reasonable for you to ask your buyer's agent to pay for the set of keys and remotes you need to access the common areas and garage.
5. Rather than 'hunt down' keys, it is easier to request and pay for a new set of keys and remotes from the HOA.
4. If there is agreement that the seller will provide you with keys and remotes per the contract, these items are delivered to you at the close of escrow.

Hope this helps.

Meredith McKenzie
Associate Broker #01142186
Keller Williams Realty
1 vote
Janey Bishop, Agent, Encino, CA
Fri May 6, 2011
Your realtor should be helping you. it is in your contract if you used the CAR purchase agreement - unless agreed otherwise he should give you a key and a remote if there is an opener. He is not required to give you 2 sets. How has everyone been getting into the unit during escrow?
1 vote
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Fri May 6, 2011
If you used the C.A.R. contract look on page 3 of 8 PH 5. E. Unless otherwise agreed to in writing....Seller to provide keys and=/or means to operate all locks, mailboxes, securty systems, alarms, and garage door openers. ....
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1 vote
David Cooper, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Tue May 24, 2011
Marianne. You really don't want the risk of keeping the old locks and keys, do you! Get the deed in your name and change the locks that same day. The garage door remote is suppossed to be turned over. Not worth the hassle

David Cooper..Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor in Bank Owned REOs with Cash Flow. Freee list email or call for FREE daily list. +1-7024997037 .
0 votes
Gerard Carney, Agent, Spring Hill, FL
Tue May 24, 2011
They need to submit all the keys upon closing otherwise they have not handed the property over to you properly. No they can not charge you for the keys and the remote, they belong to the house and are part of the price
0 votes
Sherry Ferfes, Agent, LITTLEROCK, CA
Tue May 24, 2011
I would have asked my agent to make sure you were given the keys at closing..
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Tue May 24, 2011
On the Disclosure "Transfer Disclosure Statement" there is a box marked Automatic Garage Door Openers; if this is checked, they are obligated to give you at least 1 opener. I have found that 1 is critical as it helps you program new Openers. But, if it not checked, they are not obligated. You should have noticed. My advice; you are going to change the locks anyway, and a new Garage door opener cost $30, just do it; it isn't worth the agrivation. If it makes you feel better, send the bill to his Broker and demand payment in a letter. But I wouldn't expect any answer.
0 votes
Derek Raynor, , 90027
Fri May 20, 2011
I would check with your agent and have them review what was agreed to in the contract. Some HOA will require that you pay them a "key fee" and obtain the keys from them for all the common areas. As long as you have one set of keys though you should not be out much if that is all they do indeed have. <100 would be my guess
0 votes
Angel J. Her…, Agent, Hawthorne, CA
Mon May 9, 2011
This is true, although this is also part of the disclosures that
you should have received from the CC&R's and HOA disclosures
from the property manager and your agent.
Angel J.Hernandez
Prudential Caliofrnia Realty
0 votes
Kathleen Bec…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Sun May 8, 2011
Many good answers below. Always result back to your purchase contract. This should be spelled out in it.

Good luck!

All the best,

Kat Becker
Prudential California Realty
0 votes
David Cooper, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sun May 8, 2011
Is the condo price still a good deal even though you know the seller/agent is making a $50,000 profit? That seems like an awful lot of profit in today market for a condo. If its in a great location and in move-in condition and still below market, the keys should not b e a deal breaker. If you are having buyer's remorse, than every little detail becomes huge.

David Cooper. Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor in Bank Owned REOs with Cash Flow. email or call for FREE daily list +1-7024997037 not a real estate agent
0 votes
Reuben Pache…, Agent, West Hollywood, CA
Fri May 6, 2011
Hi Marianne,
I can read the frustrationin your question. Simple truth is the Seller/agent is only obligated to deliver keys that he/she has in their possession at close of escrow UNLESS - you have stiplulated total key duplication and cost to be bourne by Seller. Yes, I agree the Seller should make some attempt to do this but their isn't an oblilgation unless agreed to in writing.

I would suggest writing the Seller a nice letter making the request and adding it to your escrow instrucitons as a escrow modification if he accepts your request.

If your request is denied, then you'll have to request your copies from the HOA/property management after you've closed escrow. You'll more than likely want to re-key the doors anyhow.

I hope this answers your questions and puts your mind at ease!

Reuben Pacheco
John Aaroe Group - Sunset Strip
8560 Sunset Blvd., 6th Floor
West Hollywood, CA 90069

323 466 5358 Offc.
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0 votes
Douglas Perez, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Fri May 6, 2011
Hello Marianne,
It should be in your contract. And, if you're using C.A.R. Form RPA-CA, Revised 4/10, it should states like the following:

"Paragraph 5. E) At Close Of Escrow, unless otherwise agreed in writing, Seller shall provide keys and/or means to operate all locks, mailboxes, security systems, alarms and garage door openers. If Property is a condominium or located in a common interest subdivision, Buyer may be required to pay a
deposit to the Homeowners' Association ("HOA") to obtain keys to accessible HOA facilities."

I hope this help you.

Have a blessed day!
(323) 285-8864
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0 votes
Risa Liebster, Agent, Toluca Lake, CA
Fri May 6, 2011
Marianne, I understand what you mean by "it's the principle". I will, however, add that as this was purchased by the seller in a trustee's sale it is entirely possible those items went missing at some point. If your contract did not specify otherwise, you will probably have to obtain these items from the HOA yourself. Best of luck.

Risa Liebster, Realtor®
Ramsey-Shilling Associates
0 votes
David Akram , Agent, Granada Hills, CA
Fri May 6, 2011
Usually 1 set of keys and 1 key for the mailbox - not necessarily in the contract but it is implied when stated that the seller has to turn over possession of the property - the handing of the keys is considered as transfer of possession. Usually the keys are given to the buyer's agent from either the seller or the seller's agent.
Turning over the key is all after the fact - loan has funded, title has been transferred and so on - so whatever works the fastest to give the buyer the possession of the property is the main goal here.

Hope this helps.

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0 votes
David Cooper, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Fri May 6, 2011
I always replace the old locks and get new keys on any property I buy. This is a "peace oif mind" issue that costs little, and increases safety. Finding keys and remotes on a foreclosure is almost impossible.

- David Cooper..Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor in Bank Owned REOs with Cash Flow. email or call for FREE daily list. +1-7024997037 not a real estate agent
0 votes
Richard Schu…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Fri May 6, 2011
Not necessarily. It depends on the contract and what was negotiated.
0 votes
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