You've done it!! You found your dream home and won the bidding war and are officially "under contract" or "in escrow" and working through the terms of the purchase agreement. One of the first "to-dos" is to get the home inspected by a home inspector of your choice.
Buyer Inspection Dissatisfaction:
Uh-oh! While going through the home with the inspector some pretty substantial issues are discovered which you would like the seller to assist in finding a suitable remedy for. Luckily you have a good Realtor like The Hartwig Team and you can exercise a few options to satisfy this contract contingency.
Option A: Request that the sellers provide a price adjustment to compensate for the cost of repairs that the buyer will incur after closing
Option B: Request that the sellers make the repairs to the property before the closing of the sale
The Hartwig Team prepares an inspection dissatisfaction addendum for you with a clear description of the proposed remedy. In a perfect world, the seller understands these defects should be repaired before closing the sale, however, this world is not perfect. Unfortunately, sellers often believe their home to be perfect as it is, after all, they have been living there without issues for often-times many years.
Alas, The Sellers take the requests personally (as it is difficult to curb emotions with the sale of any primary residence.) The seller takes so much offense in fact, they lash out to their agent and give you the ol'-
Seller: "This home is just fine in its current condition, and I ain't fixin' [explitive]"
All too common of a scenario in real estate... but what about the less common occurrence of the above plus the additional
Seller: "As a matter of fact, I don't care for this dissatisfaction game you play, and I am killing this deal (out of spite mind you) and here is your mutual release, so sign it, and I'll find myself another buyer lickity split!"
Whoa whoa! back it up... as a buyer you simply want a safe and functional home for your family to live in. After all, this home was not listed as distressed or a "fixer-upper" so these expectations should not come as a surprise Mr. & Mrs. Home-Seller
Buyer: "Mr. Realtor, Can the sellers do that?"
The answer is actually not so simple, and you will want to be sure that you are using an experienced and knowledgable Realtor like The Hartwig Team in order to make sure you have some expanded options should this unsettling experience happen to you. So, the big reveal, the answer to the question of "Can the sellers terminate the contract and kill the deal because you requested repairs or compensation for needed repairs?"
This will depend on how the purchase agreement is written. You see in Michigan, not all real estate purchase agreements are the same. These will vary by the local board of Realtors of which the buyer agent is a member of, or some brokerages create their purchase agreement to line up with the principal broker's practices.
As the home buyer making the demand, obviously you would have liked to see some cooperation from the sellers but this isn't an option in this scenario. So it's time for you to decide if you want to bear the cost of those repairs on your own and move forward with the purchase. How do we know for sure we can even do that, the seller was adamant about killing the deal, doesn't he/she have the right to do so? Let's find out.
So let's take a look at what you would commonly see in the contract for purchase. Mind you these are only examples and most common on what you would see in Macomb or Oakland County Real Estate contracts
Example A: If the seller does not agree to make the requested repairs, the Buyer shall have three (3) days to waive the contingency and accept the property “as-is” or to declare the contract null and void.
This is good for the buyer, per the contract, you have 3 days for due diligence to decide if you wish to move forward with the property as-is and no repairs or compensation from the seller.
Example B: In the event the Buyer requests a modification to the Buy/Sell Agreement based upon the results of the inspections, Sellers may either agree to such modification or declare this Buy/Sell Agreement null and void.
This is not so good for the buyer and our seller who took our requests the wrong way, does indeed have the right to terminate the deal and move on to find a new buyer leaving you "high and dry" and no choice but to walk away from the dream home you had hoped to be living in within 30 days.
This scenario is something you will want to consider when shopping for homes, and especially while interviewing a Realtor to represent you as a buyer. Be sure to ask your Realtor before signing buyer's agency agreement, how their preferred purchase agreement is written for this clause.
Realtor Penalty Flag!
What happens if you ask your Realtor about this clause and the answer is a YES, NO, or I don't know?
This could be a signal that your agent does not know for certain, or doesn't have a proper solution to this problem. This could be one indicator that maybe you are not a good match to do business together. This is the largest purchase most people make in a lifetime, not to mention an emotional roller coaster of a process. You will almost certainly want the option to move forward as-is in case the home is worth the extra investment of repairs out of your pocket after closing.
A good Realtor can easily amend or select a different purchase agreement to use and satisfy any concern you might have (broker permitting and law-abiding of course)
About The Hartwig Team:
About The Hartwig Team: We are a Husband/Wife real estate team who seeks and adopts the latest technology trends in the market place. We specialize in residential real estate in Macomb and Oakland Counties. We aim to simplify the buying experience and transaction with tools like our "Buyer Roadmap"
And, be sure to check out our "Digital Open House" the closest thing to being inside the property right at your computer or mobile device. This is a huge benefit to our sellers. If you or anyone you know has a house to sell, share this with them. It is changing the way people look at houses. Take a tour for yourself