In Season 3, Episode 3 of the REAL Collective Podcast, Sean Tasse and Brendan McKeigan interview Bonny Joardar (Barrister & Solicitor at Puneet Badhwar Law) to explore some of the most common issues post-closing that home buyers can face. Exploring these issues not only makes you an informed home buyer but it allows you to ask the right questions along the way.
- Damage to the property: When a buyer initially views the home that they end up purchasing, it can often be months before the closing date. You may notice some issues at move in such as small holes in the walls, scuffed floors or issues that were initially hidden behind furniture. What Bonny and her team suggest is two-fold; first, explore the property as much as possible prior to submitting your offer, look behind furniture and pay attention to every detail. Secondly, ask your REALTOR® about arranging a ‘final walk-through’ a couple of days prior to taking possession of the home. If you can arrange the appointment during the day, even better, as natural light allows you more easily notice imperfections. The closer you can book this walk-through to the possession day, the better. Often the seller has already moved out and there will be a blank canvas to review. Issues that arise prior your move-in date are always easier to remedy than after!
2. Rental items that were not included in the agreement: Typical rented items are: hot water tanks, furnace systems, air conditioning units, water filtration systems and alarm systems. When you initially view the home, ask your REALTOR® about these items if you notice them. Are they owned, or are they rented? Can you get a copy of the rental agreement? Having a clear view of your expenses prior to purchasing a home is important to most buyers. Unfortunately, buyers must assume rental agreements when they take possession of a home (even if it is not in the purchase agreement). That’s why it is important to ask questions beforehand. Often, when dealt with prior to closing, it’s possible to negotiate something with the seller that involves them buying out their rental agreement. Working out something like this after closing is unlikely.
3. Appliances not working: If you have arranged a final walk-through, you may have the opportunity to test the appliances before moving in. If you are unable to do this, and you are stuck with a broken appliance, you can still seek compensation. Your REALTOR® should make sure that they include a clause that states that all chattels and fixtures will be in good working order prior to closing. If you have this clause in place, common solutions that a lawyer will seek could be a replacement appliance that is the same age and condition of the broken one or monetary compensation.
For more valuable real estate related tips, you can check out the REAL Collective Podcast on iTunes, Spotify or YouTube.