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Courses in this Department

How Ready Are You to Buy a Home?

Determining Your Dream Home and Finding It!

Factory Built Homes Are Worth a Look

Purchase Manufactured Homes with FHA Loan

How to Buy a Foreclosed Home

Pros and Cons of Corner Lots

Know the Neighborhood Before You Buy

Tune in to an Open House on the Radio

Finding a Qualified Broker or Agent

Shopping for a Loan and Choosing a Lender

How to Improve Your Credit

How to Survive the Loan Application Process

Making an Offer and Signing Contracts

Cancel Your Contract in 3 Days

Understanding the Closing/Settlement Process

Choosing Home Inspection and Settlement Professionals

Double Check Your New Home - The Walkthrough

Know Your Consumer Rights

Seniors Have Many Housing Opportunities

Preparing for the Big Day -- Relocating Moving

Make Your Home Your Castle - Cost Effective Redecorating Ideas


How to Avoid and Resolve Problems at Walkthrough

The final walk-through inspection is an exciting moment for the homebuyer. You're taking your last tour of the property prior to taking ownership at the closing. But you're not ready to celebrate yet. Pay close attention. You need to inspect the house to make sure the owner finished moving everything out. What if you find that old toolshed the seller agreed to move still standing in the backyard? Or what if the seller removed something you agreed conveys as part of the sale, such as drapes or a chandelier, or failed to repair the broken steps?

Your sales contract should have a contingency covering problems discovered at the walk-through. If anything is damaged or missing, you should have the right to delay the closing until the problems are corrected. This may not be possible, however, if you're faced with a major problem. By the time you arrive at the settlement table, you both have commitments to keep. Your mortgage loan on the property and interest rate may have been "locked in" by the lender, for example, and your lock might expire on the day of closing. Or the seller may need the sales proceeds to buy another home, so any delay would jeopardize his home buying contract.

Rather than risk having the whole transaction fall apart or take forever to complete, you best bet may be to ask the seller to place money "in escrow," to be released only after the major repairs or cleanups are completed. Alternatively, you could agree on a price to cover the repairs or other items, and the seller could issue a check at the closing table. Your closing agent will need to draw up a short contract addendum describing what you and the seller have agreed to. It would indicate that you are willing to accept the seller's check in lieu of requiring the seller to do the repairs. Or if you're just extending the time for necessary action items, it would say that you're giving 10-15 days for completing those items before releasing the funds from escrow.

Your best bet is always to seek an equitable agreement. You don't want to hold up your moving date and you don't want to make yourself any enemies. After all, you both come from the same neighborhood, right?