Home Buying in Cincinnati>Question Details

James, Other/Just Looking in 45241

I recently closed on a house and have some questions....

Asked by James, 45241 Mon May 12, 2008

During the walkthrough, the house was dirty and the lawn was not mowed. There were some scratches on the hardwood floors that were not there before. Also, the repair on the addendum was not completed as the seller signed to do. My realtor pushed for the deal to close as he stated that we got a really good deal and I refused until the seller gave me some compensation for the repair. Was I out of line? Was my realtor? Shouldn't the home be clean as it was during showing? Shouldn't the lawn be mowed (is that a part on maintaining the home)? Am I being too pushing by demanding all of the above? I really appreciate any input.

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As far as the lawn goes, that is not really an issue that I wsih to tackle. I would not just let it go like some people do, and uless the city has cited a violation, that is not an issue to me. You are going to have to cut it within a week anyway this time of year, so pick your battles wisely - grass is just not worth the argument, by the time you simply mow the lawn, it is over.

As for damages to the home and repairs that were agreed upon per contract, that is a different story. I would not close on a property that was not in at least the same condition as it was presented to me at time of showing and offer. If repairs were not made as they were agreed upon per contract, then the contract is not complete. You will be asked to sign a form in the closing that all provisions of the contract have been satisfactorily met and if not, an arrangement of an escrow of funds to cover such costs have been made. If you sign this form, you are releasing the seller from the liability of not performing by stating that you are satisfied wiuth the performance thus far. Now, we can not give legal advice, however, this is all common sense stuff, and I am simply telling you what I would do, by no means am I advising you aon what you should do - for that, you should seek the help of an attorney.

If you agent is pushing you to close and the contractual obligations from the seller are not complete, maybe you should sk that agent who he/she works for and how they are going to compensate you for the damages if you close on time for them to get paid. After all, our fiduciary duty is to you, the client, not to ourselves for a paycheck.

I would consult an attorney for legal advice.
Web Reference: http://www.swohiorealty.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 12, 2008
Good for you for standing up for your rights. There are a lot of people right on this one.

YOU are right to expect everything that was agreed to in the contract, (the home should be in broomswept condition, the lawn should not be overgrown, floors shouldn't be scratched any more than they were when you decided to purchase them)

YOUR AGENT was right, that if you got a "really good deal", that you might not want to risk the deal by pushing really hard, for things that ultimately are "small potatoes".

JOHN YOURKER (real estate pro, below) is right that lawn maintenance is probably not worth arguing over, even though they certainly should have mowed it, since you're going to have to mow it again in a short while.

But the ultimate decision is yours, and it sounds as though you "pushed through the noise" and made a good decision.

2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 12, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL

Please dont look at this as a win-lose deal, like Sheri is saying. This is not about leverage and control. It is about win-win, and doing the right thing. The right thing is to abide by the contract, not to use your position as a "power-play" -- we are not ina hockey game here.

Too many agents like this think it as all about leverage and winning, when the sad truth is that they would probably crumble under the slightest strain of pressure if their commission was threatened - like your agent did to push you to close.

Do the right thing, practice the golden rule, and you will always comeout a winner.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 12, 2008
Hello James,

Congrats on your home. This is the best time to buy in 20 years. You are benefiting just from that alone. When you purchase again, you can be more firm on the condition of the home that you first saw it in. Taking pictures that are time stamped is the best way to show proof. Unfortunately you cannot get a picture of everything, but the things that matter the most to you you can take a picture of. You can have the seller fix what is wrong before closing if there is damage to the property than what you saw at first. Remember, you are the buyer and have leverage. No buyer, no sale. If they want to sell, they fix the problem, simple. Good luck.

From Sheri Mapes the Cincy House Expert.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 12, 2008

The whole purpose of the walkthrough is to make sure the home is in the same condition/everything works like it did when you wrote the contract and to make sure the items on the inspection were completed. I don't think you were out of line as you were the one buying the home and the agent working for you should be your advocate. That is why you hired your agent in the 1st place. One of the 1st questions my attorney asks me when I am at a closing is "How was the walkthrough?"

Best of luck in your new home!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 12, 2008
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