Dear David: My parents are coming into town, and we want to show them the house we just bought. Our agreement says we only get one walk through, which we are supposed to use before closing. Is it possible to book an extra visit to show my parents the house? – EAGER NEW OWNER
DEAR EAGER: Congratulations on your purchase! Buying a home is exciting, and of course you want to share the joy with your parents. It sounds like you’ve already checked your purchase agreement to confirm how many walk throughs the seller has agreed to provide. Buyers are sometimes under the impression that a final walk through is their right, but as with everything in real estate, the details need to be in writing.
As much as you would like the chance to show off the house, you are wise to save your existing walk through for the day before the sale closes. Many agents don’t bother doing a final walk through these days, but I think it’s an essential part of the transaction. That final visit before you take possession is an important opportunity to verify that the house is being delivered in the condition you expect. It allows you to see that there have been no substantial changes or damage to the property, and lets you confirm that any chattels included with the sale (such as the washer and dryer) are still in the house.
If your agreement specifies that components of the house must be in good working order, you’ll be able to check these on your walk through, at least to a degree. In the heat of the summer, it’s easy to prove that the air conditioner is working, but you won’t be able to fully test the furnace (and the opposite is true in winter, of course). While it’s rare to find an issue during the final walk through, taking this step is just good business practice.
In order to show the house to your parents, you’ll need to ask a favour of the seller. I recommend that you have your real estate agent reach out to theirs. Your agent can explain the situation and see whether the sellers might be willing to grant you an extra walk through in this case. Be clear that you don’t expect the home to be in model condition, and you understand the hassle created by asking the sellers to make the home available in the middle of their move.
If I were the seller’s agent, I’d recommend that they try and accommodate your request. A willingness to work around an hour of inconvenience can go a long way towards keeping things pleasant throughout the transaction. Business is business and we don’t expect buyers and sellers to be best friends. But when their tax refund cheque lands in your mailbox, or you can’t find the hidden water shutoff to the outdoor taps, you’ll both be happy that you took the time to be courteous. #AskDavid #Advice
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