Sometimes, there are provisions in a real estate contract that state which repairs need to be done prior to closing. If you are approaching closing and the repairs haven’t been done, and there is a concern that they’re not going to be done, we will often recommend having money held back in escrow to ensure that the changes are made before all the funds are disbursed.
That is often a means of assuring that the repairs will be made. Assuming that the contract is well-drafted and specifically says that the required repairs provision survives the closing and if the buyers discover afterward that the repairs were not made, that added provision will make it possible to force the seller to make the repairs or pay for them if the buyer must make them.
In sum, if your real estate lawyer gets that required repairs provision into the contract and such provision survives the closing, then after closing it would be a breach of contract and you are allowed to sue the seller and force them to pay for the necessary repairs.
Q: Can I rescind a real estate purchase if the seller failed to make an essential repair?
We take that on a case by case basis because it is a fact-intensive scenario.
Sometimes, rather than rescission of the entire sale, it’s a matter of going after damages to fix the defect, or in extreme cases, there may be actual fraud involved. Each case is different, and we, as experienced Ohio real estate lawyers, analyze the situation thoroughly before we suggest what avenue to take.
Real Estate Walk-Throughs
Another reason it’s important to have a real estate attorney helping you with the closing process is that in a standard residential deal there is a walk-through provision that allows you to go back through the property typically 24 to 48 hours prior to closing so you can check on these things. Usually, when we deal with a request to remedy, it must be done to the buyer’s satisfaction. We would request proof that those things have been completed by a certified plumber, electrician, etc. Ensuring that the items are completed prior to closing eliminates the need to have to go after the Seller to repair these things after you have already purchased the home.
On the other side of the coin, the seller wants to avoid litigation, so if there is a request to remedy certain things and they might be questionable, sometimes we recommend an adjustment to give them credit on the closing statement. Therefore, it is the Buyer’s issue and they can take care of it the way they want. That avoids a dispute and sometimes buyers prefer that as well.
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