One of the most common and frustrating issues for both real estate industry members and lawyers in closing residential real estate transactions is a dispute over the condition of the property on Completion Day. Rarely are buyers entirely happy with the condition and cleanliness of the property when they take possession. While occasionally their concerns are valid, in most cases they are not. In any event, there is not much that lawyers can do to assist buyers in this regard. This column will explain why the Purchase Contract is worded the way it is and what buyers’ representatives can do to protect their clients where specific concerns are identified when writing up the offer.
- The seller’s lawyer may be able to convince the seller to offer some compensation to the buyer, repair the problem or agree to a monetary holdback until the problem is resolved; or
- The seller will refuse to take responsibility for the problem, but at least it will be documented that the problem existed at the time of possession which will help the buyers if they choose to prosecute a small claims action for recovery of damages.