During the Escrow process, the Buyer should and probably will do a physical inspection of the subject property. This is the Buyer’s right.
The Seller’s responsibility is to make sure that the Buyer has full access to the property. Also, the Seller MUST insure that ALL utilities are on. If these two items are not done, the Seller needs to understand that they may be responsible for the cost of the re-inspection. If there is any challenge to unlocking a door, the Seller or Property Manager should have either a locksmith or a maintenance person to drill the locks onsight.
Once the Buyer’s Inspections are complete, the Seller will receive a copy of the inspection report(s). The Seller needs to review this report carefully.
There are two reasons. If the Seller has paid for items that are noted on the report, they should go to the vendor and make sure that these items are taken care of.
The second and probably most important is that now the Seller and the Broker has material knowledge of the items that have come up on the inspection.
If the Property falls out of Escrow, the Seller MUST update the Seller’s Disclosure Statements as they now have the knowledge of the problems.
If there are Health and Safety concerns noted, the Seller is now at risk if these are not handled ASAP. If a tenant or anyone is harmed due to this neglect, the Seller could very well be held responsible.
If there are material facts that are uncovered, the Broker is under legal responsibility to disclose these items to any potential Buyer.
Again, if the Property goes back on the market, the immediate needs should be addressed and can be disclosed as such. This will make the likelihood of the next Escrow successful.
This is one of the main reasons that I personally walk every unit when I list a property and many of these deal killing issues can be taken care of before the Escrow thus ensuring a successful closing.
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