How would you feel if you saw the water leak in the photo above the day before you were closing on a million dollar home?
Section 11.1 of the Utah Real Estate Purchase Contract, (known to all realtors by the acronym REPC), allows for a “pre-Settlement walk-through inspection”. The purpose of this walk through is for the buyer to determine that (i) the property is in the same condition as it was when the buyer wrote the offer, (ii) personal property that was supposed to be left in the property is present, and (iii) any repairs that were agreed upon are complete. The purpose of the walk through is not for the buyer to conduct a new inspection or renegotiate the REPC.
I took the above photo with my iphone during a walk-through I did with a buyer last month. It was the day before closing and we discovered a pipe that was repaired after the home inspection was once again leaking. (I love the convenience of the camera on the iphone.) The photo is evidence of the leak and the seller will be financially responsible for its repair.
A colleague of mine told me that he did a final walk through a buyer and noted the home’s hardwood floors had been scratched while the seller was moving out. The seller had to pay for the floors to be repaired.
Earlier in the year, a buyer I represented discovered that several window screens in the house were missing. My buyer received new screens after the closing.
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, it is important to note that the final walk-through is part of the REPC. If you are a seller, you are responsible for your home until the deed is recorded. Any damage to your home during your final days or hours of ownership are your financial responsibility. If you are a buyer, you can have your home inspector re-check items that were supposed to be fixed, request receipts to verify repairs were made, and walk through the home prior to closing.