Most of the work has been done and you are ready to sign the closing documents signifying that you are now a homeowner. Before you show up to accept the keys, however, ask yourself if the home is ready for you to move into. Read on to find out why you need to contact your real estate agent and make plans for one more trip to the home before you become the owner.
After the Home Inspection and Before the Closing
Once you and the seller agree on a price, follow up with a professional home inspection. This top-to-bottom inspection of the home's major systems is a must-have if you want to avoid unexpected repair issues cropping up in the near future. In some cases, the inspection turns up not just a few minor problems but major, expensive problems. Instead of canceling the deal, some sellers agree to have the repairs made and the home ready for occupancy on the day of the closing.
Never just assume that repairs have been accomplished. Doing so could mean nasty surprises later on. Instead, keep in close contact with your real estate agent during the last few weeks leading up to the closing and make an appointment to give the home a final walk-through before the closing. Sometimes, the mere existence of this appointment serves to ensure that all repairs have been accomplished. In cases where extensive repairs were warranted, don't hesitate to hire an inspector for a follow-up inspection before you close on the home. Closings can be postponed and this can be disappointing. When the seller agrees to the repairs, they are in breach of contract if they fail to make them.
Problems With Empty Homes
The time-span between signing the agreement to buy the home and the closing date can be weeks and weeks apart. If the home sellers have already moved out of the home, the need for doing a final walk-through becomes even stronger. A number of problems can occur in an empty home. For example:
1. The hot water heater has been leaking, damaging floors and ceilings. The means not only that repairs are on the seller, but that they owe you a new water heater.
2. A raccoon family has damaged the fascia and made their new home in the attic of the home. Getting rid of wildlife and other pests that can invade a home is the responsibility of the seller.
3. Vandals broke a window to enter the home and managed to strip the home of copper wiring.
In many cases, real estate agents have checklists at the ready to accomplish a final walk-through efficiently. Speak to your agent to ensure nothing will delay your closing.