Real NEastate: Do I fix the hole the movers made in the house I’m leaving?

Q: My house is being sold and settlement is in two days. During the process of moving out of my home this weekend, the movers accidentally put a giant hole in the wall with my armoire. I really don’t have the time or money to fix it. What should I do, if anything, before settlement?

A: According to Paragraph 17 of the Standard Agreement of Sale: “Seller will maintain the property, grounds, fixtures and personal property specially listed in the agreement in its present condition, normal wear and tear excepted.”

You have three options:

  1. Fix the hole.
  2. Credit the buyer at settlement the fair market value of the repair, as long as it’s acceptable to the mortgage company.
  3. Don’t fix it and don’t agree to credit the buyer the cost of the repair.

When you entered into an Agreement of Sale with the buyer of your home, however, you did agree to maintain the property in its current condition. If you decide to go with Option 3, no repair or credit, the buyer does retain the right to terminate the contract and will get his/her full deposit back.

All risks and responsibility are on the seller until the moment you make settlement.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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