You’ve found a buyer for your home. You’re under contract and set to close in a few weeks. Yay! Then a hail storm hits and you have damage. Nooooo! What do you do? What are you liable for? What can happen to the contract? Find out in this week’s video.
It’s summer in Colorado. If you’ve been here for a while, you know what that can mean — hail! Recently we’ve experienced significant storms in the metro area. How does this affect contracts?
If you are a seller under contract and your property sustains any sort of damage, you are responsible for disclosing it. I’m not talking minor scrapes and dings (although I’d still recommend disclosing those). I’m talking about storm damage.
Repair or Credit
If you file an insurance claim and the insurance company gives you money to repair the damage, it’s your responsibility and duty to get those items fixed before closing. And you’ll need to fix *all* of them. Let’s say the buyer is only asking for the roof to be done, but the insurance company gave you money for the windows and gutters in addition. You’re still responsible for having all of the work completed.
The alternative to this is to offer the buyer a credit equal to the amount of the insurance payment. If the buyer accepts the offer, the responsibility for repair of the damage transfers to the buyer. This is yet another time when it’s beneficial to have an experienced agent working for you and helping the buyer sees the benefits of this approach.
What’s at Risk?
If the damages are not repaired or replaced prior to closing — or if the buyer has not accepted a credit — the buyer can terminate as late as the day of closing and get their earnest money back!
A Great Agent Can Make All the Difference
Make sure you’re protected by knowing your rights and your liability and make sure to communicate well with your agent. Call me at 303-204-6494 with any questions.
Need a Contractor?
If you need a referral to a contractor that can handle the storm damage, I recommend 4th Dimension Concepts (phone: 303-750-4295).