Fix That Fence

An inspection is part of any prudent purchase.  Sellers could get an independent property inspection performed before listing so there are no surprises. And buyers should always have a property inspection after any offer is accepted.  Prudence pays.  But when an inspection indicates repairs are needed or the seller and buyer agree to specific property “fix ups” before closing, if there’s a lender involved you want to make sure whatever is indicated in the sales contract is in fact completed.

The lender, upon a review of the sales contract will look for any performance issues that will be resolved before a closing will take place.  An appraiser who visits a property will also have in hand a copy of that same sales contract.  In either case, if the seller agrees to repair the fence, both the lender and the appraiser will make note.

In the past, certain performance aspects of a sales contract would often be ignored or simply assumed the repair was completed as agreed.  For example, an addendum to the sales contract indicates there’s an old shed on the property and is in a serious state of disrepair… dangerous to enter, as a matter of fact.  So the buyer asks that the seller removes the shed from the property and the seller agrees.  If it’s in the contract, the lender can and likely will ask for evidence that the shed has been removed.  They can ask that an inspector or the appraiser visit the property and confirm that yes, the shed is history.

Or there are some missing tiles on the roof and the buyer wants the seller to provide a roof inspection and replace the missing tiles.  The seller agrees.  But unless the lender has a copy of an inspection report showing that the roof was inspected and the tiles were replaced, the loan approval might be delayed until the lender is satisfied the roof’s okay and there are no missing tiles.

As an agent, take note of what’s in the sales contract.  If anywhere in the contract it requires the sellers or buyers to do something; make sure whatever it is that needs done is completed.  Otherwise, there might be a delayed closing.



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