Market Wise Q&A: Should Buyers Take Advantage of a "Walk-Through" Before Close of Escrow?

Pat Kapowich for the San Jose Mercury News Q: We were conducting our final “walk-through” of the home we are buying and noticed the repairs agreed upon were incomplete.  This was also surprise to our buyer’s agent.  Now the loan has funded and we are paying daily interest on the loan until the work is finished.  Then we are due to do another “walk-through” before closing escrow.  We feel someone else should pay for this unnecessary expense ~ but who?

A:  Good question. Many agents are new to the industry and are not accustomed to having repairs involved in a sale.  Therefore, these very agents will also be ill-equipped to handle repairs as well.  Make no mistake: veteran agents can and will be lax, too. Many agents will allow unlicensed persons to make so-called “repairs.” Some will not follow the work progress as the sale draws to a close.  A few will have no idea the importance of a “walk-through’ regardless if repairs are included or not.   For that reason many agents will forego the buyer’s right to walk the property prior to change of ownership. It is not uncommon for buyers, sellers and their agents to be traveling down the same road while “asleep at the wheel.” The good news is you exercised your right to a walk-through and it served you well. The bad news is if the cost of this “fender-bender” is not shared prior to close of escrow ~ you’ll lose most or all of your negotiating power. Saturday, July 7, 2010

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