How much access is the buyer
allowed for inspections?
I have been following your column for years and don’t recall seeing this question asked/answered. Earlier this year, my fiancé and I bought our first home. As first time buyers, the process was both daunting and stressful. At the time of our initial property inspection, our inspector recommended additional inspections: roof, foundation and electrical. We were unable to get each inspector there at the same time but were able to wrap it up with just two more visits to the home. The seller agreed to give us a $5,000 credit and we removed our contingency.
We wanted to get some work done at our new home prior to our moving in (refinish hardwood floors, paint, upgrade to copper plumbing). We asked our agent to make the arrangements so that we could get the estimates and line up the contractors.
The seller refused to allow us to return with any additional contractors. He said it wasn’t in the contract and that he had made the home available to us for three inspections and an appraisal and there would be no more. We weren’t able to get our contractors in and lost several weeks while waiting for work to commence. Do you think we should take the seller to small claims court? Linda
I am a real estate agent, and not able to offer legal advice. I am sorry that the seller was not willing to accommodate your request. Buying a home is very emotional and stressful for both buyer and seller. Prior to putting their home on the market, many sellers declutter and depersonalize. Then showings commence and they have lost the privacy and comfort of their home. This continues until the home is in escrow and the seller can somewhat relax their higher standards.
In hindsight, I think you should have asked to incorporate the estimates with your final walk through. The seller might have been agreeable to that. The final weeks of escrow can be a very busy time for the seller as they are in full packing mode.
On a positive note, you have now joined the ranks of homeowner and no longer need to compete in this heated seller’s market. Congratulations on your home!
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Phyllis Harb is a Realtor® with Prudential California Realty.
She may be contacted at (818) 790-7325 or by email AskPhyllis@RealtorHarb.com.