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Inspect on the big day

I don’t judge the success of a transaction by the condition of the home on the closing date. If I did, many would fail.

I don’t judge the success of a transaction by the condition of the home on the closing date. If I did, many would fail.

Clients regularly discover problems during their final viewing of a property, also known as the “Pre-closing Inspection.”

This is the last opportunity to make an objection prior to paying for a property and taking possession. Objections would arise if the property is not in the proper condition or if the sellers have not fulfilled their obligations in accordance with the agreement of purchase and sale.

The most common issue is the property is not left clean and vacant. Sellers have also been known to remove items from a house that should remain, such as fixtures or appliances that were accounted for in the purchase contract. Physical damage may also be discovered. Flooded basements, broken windows, and the destruction of a front lawn are some of the nightmares that have been suffered on the eve of the transaction.

Considering the potential for problems, it is recommended the final inspection is conducted on the closing date.

While your home inspector is not involved with the pre-closing inspection, it is advisable to repeat the inspector’s actions where practical. For example, run the water, flush the toilets, ensure that windows and doors are operational, and test the lights and applicances.

Hitting a hurdle late in the transaction can be frustrating, but it certainly is manageable. Any issues discovered during the pre-closing inspection can be resolved by negotiating a holdback or a credit in favour of the buyer.

– Elias Metlej is a real estate lawyer with the Halifax firm Blois Nickerson & Bryson. You can write to Elias at askelias@yahoo.com

 
 
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