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Final Inspections and Risks

If you vacate your house prior to the close, the buyers may ask your permission to start fixing the house up before closing. After all, painting or waxing floors, for example, is much easier and faster if the house is empty. Don't do it! The buyers may poke around and find a molehill that they turn into a mountain of trouble for you. If the deal falls through, you may get your house back in terrible condition. If the house catches fire, your insurance may not cover the losses. No matter how piteously they plead, be firm. Don't let the buyers do any work on your house or, worse yet, move into the house prior to closing.

The final verification of condition

If your buyers are smart, they'll inspect the day before closing to be sure your property is still in the same general condition that it was in when they signed the contract to buy it. Most residential real estate contracts contain a "Final Verification of Condition" clause.

  • If the buyers discover the property damaged or in different condition, they can instruct the closing officer to stop the closing until the problems are resolved. If you and the buyers can't work out a mutually satisfactory solution, the dispute could kill the deal.
  • Be sure to maintain your property inside and out until closing and you move into your new home. Make sure that the movers don't damage the property when removing your belongings. Unless you and the buyers make other arrangements, your property should be left "broom clean" -- remove all garbage, trash, and litter, and then vacuum carpets and sweep floors.