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Inspection Clauses - Make Sure Yours is Solid!

Posted January 16th, 2012 under smart buying, smart selling.

These days, it's typical for your Agreement of Purchase and Sale to include a clause that allows the buyer to come through the house after the deal is firm, but before the closing day.

A number of years ago, that clause was almost never used. People assumed that it was their right to inspect the house before closing—and it is! But if the seller refuses to let the buyer into the home, what's the buyer to do?

Unfortunately, there were times that a seller would simply refuse the buyer entrance. Some sellers decided they didn't want their buyer inspecting the house, either because the seller was failing to look after the property, or because the seller suspected the buyer was looking for an excuse to get out of the deal, legitimate or not.

Over time, it became obvious to agents that a written clause was necessary to clarify and protect the buyer's rights.

Nowadays, the buyer's agent will include a clause that states the buyer will have the right to visit the home after giving proper notice.

However, this clause needs to be written correctly or it will create more problems than it solves, and can lead to abuse by the buyer or the seller.

For example, some agents use the wording “at a mutually agreeable time”. This is a problem waiting to happen! If the seller doesn't agree with any of the times proposed by the buyer, the buyer is left out in the cold.

Instead, the clause should stipulate a specific time frame, such as “within 72 hours from giving notice”.

In addition, the clause must state that the notice will be given in writing, as a verbal notice cannot be proven and will not stand up in court should there be a dispute.

So, when you encounter this clause, make sure the wording is clear and complete so your rights are protected. And that means written notice and a specific time frame!

Want to know more about inspection clauses? Just ask me, I'll be happy to help.

--Peter

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