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Winter is upon us . . . a normally slower time . . . sellers don’t want snow and ice tracked into their homes . . . buyers tunnel in . . . and we agents look forward to spring. What better time to make revisions to documents, right?

Let’s review the changes.

8G2a. Self explanatory. If buyer is making necessary repairs prior to settlement, seller may require buyers to sign Pre-Settlement Possession Addendum.

9. Buyer must notify seller and lender of any change in their financial status only if such change affects buyers’ ability to move forward with the purchase. In other words, if the buyer had just hit the lottery, no need to inform seller. But if the buyer lost his job, yes, by all means inform the seller and the lender.

12A1. This is a biggie. No more may buyers bring in Mom, Dad, Uncle Tom who knows everything about construction or anyone else to inspections unless the buyers’ agent has cleared this with the seller and the inspector.

12A2. Pre-settlement walk-throughs are for the limited purpose of making sure the property is in the condition as required by the Agreement and any Addenda. For example, were the repairs done? Is the refrigerator that is in the contract still there?

12C. On lot sewage test. Just a little FYI that a hydraulic load test may need to be part of the septic inspection and the seller agrees to provide all water necessary for the test unless otherwise agreed.

13B. Just a verbiage change.

13B1. If the buyer accepts the results of the inspections, buyer will give a copy of inspection to the seller . . . ALL of the reports.

13B2. If the buyer does not accept the results and terminates the Agreement, buyer will give a copy of the inspections to the seller . . . ALL of the reports.

13B3. If the Buyer does not accept the results and submits a Corrective Written Proposal, the buyer will give a copy of the inspections to the seller . . . ALL of the reports.

See a pattern here? No matter what the outcome, the seller must now receive a copy of the inspections report on all inspections done on the property. And reports must be in their entirety. No more sending just the applicable pages. Which brings me to . . . if the deal falls apart and another buyer jumps in, is the listing agent required to share the report with the next selling agent? I think I’ll save that little nugget for another article! Back to the topic at hand . . .

13B3a. Verbiage. “During the Negotiation Period”

13B3a1 Verbiage. “Seller must acknowledge in writing seller’s agreement” . . . to satisfy terms of buyer’s proposal “OR”

13B3a2. Verbiage. “Buyer and seller” . . .

14A. Buyer will order title search within 7 days or fill in blank, and upon receipt of search will provide copy to seller.

14D-K. Some changes here, some additions . . . all pertaining to title and the ability or lack thereof to provide clear title. I invite you to read for yourselves.

15B1b1. This pertains to Certificates of Occupancy and the use of a temporary certificate in the event the seller chooses not to make required improvements and the buyer agrees to make said repairs.

17. More verbiage changes/additions explaining property tax assessments, appeals . . . and that an appeal could in fact produce not only a lower assessment that results in lower taxes, but also a higher assessment resulting in higher taxes. Sort of a CYA paragraph.

And there you have it in a nutshell! Most of these changes make things just a bit clearer to our clients (and us!) and take away some of the obscure verbiage . . . a step in the right direction!

Nancy Sarley, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices HomeSale Realty

Facts, opinions and information expressed in the Closing Comments Blog represent the work of the author and are believed to be accurate, but are not guaranteed. The Lancaster County Association of Realtors® is not liable for any potential errors, omissions or outdated information. If errors are noted within a post, please notify the Association. Posts represent the author’s opinion and are not necessarily the opinion of the Association.

Lancaster County Association of Realtors®

Lancaster County Association of Realtors®