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Protecting Yourself Making An Offer: Damaged Property

Wednesday November 6, 2019

Buying a Home

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The time has finally come after scouring the internet, visiting open houses and numerous showings: you are putting an offer on your dream home!

While this is a very exciting time, there are a number of items both the buying and selling parties should be conscious of before a deal becomes firm.

“One of the most common things I’ve heard over my 25-year career from buyers after moving day is that the condition of the home has been altered or damaged from its showing-ready state,” says Drew Woolcott, broker of record, Re/Max Escarpment Woolcott Realty.

“Fortunately, there are a number of mechanisms we employ for both our seller and buyer clients to help ensure everyone has a great experience on moving day.”

Woolcott shares his tops tips for keeping yourself protected once an offer has been accepted.

Include a Home Inspection Condition

In the excitement to purchase their dream home, Woolcott says some buyers are tempted to drop the home inspection clause. He says the biggest risk with this is discovering issues post-closing that range from broken windows to water leaks.

Another option Woolcott recommends is to do a pre-inspection if you’re seriously considering doing an offer on a home that could end up in a multiple offer situation.

Take Photos of Appliances and Serial Numbers

“When a buyer is making an offer, we encourage them to take pictures of the appliances and serial numbers that are included in the offer documents,” says Woolcott. This helps to protect the buyer in the rare case the seller attempts to replace these with different models.

Insert Protective Clauses

“We often use protective clauses that speak to the state of the home and its contents at offer time,” says Woolcott. “We also tend to include a clause that ensures the home is broom-swept clean and that all of the previous owner’s items are removed.”

Woolcott explains another tactic his team employs is to include a pre-closing visit that acts as a preventative measure and enables the buyers to view the property to make sure any agreed-upon repairs are on track and everything is in an agreed-upon state.