Well Capping Before Closing?

Asked by Andrew Scherber, Roseville, MN Tue May 3, 2011

My buyer is closing on a lender-owned home on May 10. The listing agent/seller said that there was NO well uncapped/or capped on the property, but when the buyers and I had our inspection, we discovered that there is an uncapped abandoned well on the property.

I alerted the listing agent, and they are working on getting bids to have the well properly capped off at the seller's expense before closing.

The problem is that it is getting close to closing date, and my buyers are getting nervous that this hasn't been handled yet. The listing agent is an REO specialist, so I know he and his staff are REALLY busy, and thus haven't been very responsive to my requests for updates.

My question is, what should I do to ensure that the bank will complete this job? Do I need to get an amendment signed? What will happen if the house closes and it still isn't done?

Has anyone else dealt with this issue?

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Shawn Hartma…, Agent, Roseville, MN
Sun Oct 5, 2014
Andrew, Please update us on this closing. Based on my knowledge, if the well is not sealed at time of closing, the buyer could sign an agreement with the city stating that the new homeowner will take this on and complete within 1 year. Is this what you did? Thanks!
0 votes
Shawn Korby, Agent, Roseville, MN
Sat May 4, 2013
Ron, the reason for capping wells in Roseville MN is for public health reasons. But I agree, free water would be great!
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Sat May 4, 2013
You know what is more valuable than land in the US?
We know it is uncapped, and abandoned; Do we know if there is any water down there?
0 votes
Shawn Korby, Agent, Roseville, MN
Sat May 4, 2013
I would do the leg work to contact a well company and get the bid. Then submit that to the REO agent and follow up diligently. DO THIS BEFORE YOU CLOSE. Hopefully the buyer can handle delaying the closing if need be. I would recommend not closing til this is completed; however, the other advice below is good too if you need to close on the 10th. Best luck!
0 votes
Lenny Frolov, Agent, Brooklyn Park, MN
Tue May 3, 2011
At the very least get an addendum that says seller will have the well sealed but if possible do everything in your power to get the bank to take care of it prior to closing. Send emails and phone calls to the agent, being busy is a rediculous reason to not do your job (although I know how many REO agents are).
Web Reference:  http://www.lennyfrolov.com
0 votes
Holly Dagen…, Agent, Roseville, MN
Tue May 3, 2011
Yes, get the bank to cap the well before closing - it only takes a day. Otherwise, the bank will need to escrow the money if an addendum is signed. At closing the buyer will have to sign a document accepting the UNcapped well (if it's not done), some buyers use the well to water the lawn but the buyer is ever after responsible for the well should the state ever ask that the buyer test it or seal it at some point in the future. Best policy is to get the well capped now!
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