When I am working with Home Buyers, they always have questions about the process. Usually, the questions will be regarding terms they are unfamiliar with, such as Under Contract, Possession and Closing Date, Contingencies, Concessions or Earnest Money.
But there are always questions about more practical matters, too.
This spring, I was working with some buyers who found themselves a great 4 bedroom home for their family. One of the features of the home that really stood out was the large unfinished basement. They were excited about the idea of finishing the basement as a huge entertainment area and home theater for the large family get togethers they were planning to host.
The Seller had many pieces of workout equipment in the unfinished basement area, including a pretty extensive set of barbells. Eyeballing the equipment and the width of the staircase going into the basement, my buyers nervously asked:
What if the Seller Damages the House While Moving Out? They had nightmare images of moving into their new home and seeing gouges out of the drywall going into the basement….
The Colorado Contract to Buy and Sell is very comprehensive when it comes to damages on a property. There is an entire section devoted to just this question:
You will note that it states “ordinary wear and tear”. This does not mean holes in the walls caused during moving!
This section further defines what the Buyer’s remedies will be should there be damages including terminating the contract, delaying the Closing Date until the Seller repairs the items, or having the Seller assign Insurance Proceeds to the Buyer.
How Can a Home Buyer Know Whether Damage has Occurred? Great question! You should always do a Final Walk-Through of a property you are purchasing, preferably on the morning of Closing. Again, the Colorado Contract addresses this specifically:
There are 4 sub-paragraphs in this section addressing types of damage, including fire, malfunction of systems, even condemnation of the property! Rest assured, the Colorado Contract will have you covered.