Sunday, August 19, 2012

Building Reports Have an Effect

Building Reports are starting to have a marked effect on the outcome of a sale, as more traditional homes come on to the market. This makes the clause that is included in your Sale & Purchase Agreement all the more important.

The building report clause used by a buyer usually refers to the buyer being satisfied with the general condition of the building and any other buildings on the property, their weather tightness and structural integrity.

There are a number of reports that have been used by buyers to get, what may be considered cosmetic issues, fixed by the seller.The seller has the option of whether they get these fixed, or have their solicitor tell the buyers solicitor that they are not part of the building report in the agreement.

The broken tiles in the bathroom, the textured ceiling in the lounge, the paint flaking on a couple of window sills, the cracks in the concrete driveway, the worn edges of wall paper... are a few examples.

Building reports were initially intended to have buyers get a house or building that had no "building" issues, was structurally sound and had been "built properly". In other words, they had all their legal issues met, they had been built to the required standards, and had inspections completed to show this, And clauses are in every Sale and Purchase Agreement for the protection and use of both groups involved. Their benefit however, may be to only one of those groups.

There have been agreements written and purchasers settled where sellers have reluctantly agreed to fix this, and fix that, because they did not want to create an issue that could cause the buyer to change their mind. They have become quite offended when the buyers solicitor informs their solicitor that they want the seller to fix the tiles in the bathroom, and to repaint the window sills and fix up the driveway!

The point being that they are quite aware of the fact that their home is not new, that their home has been lived in for 25 years, that their home has suffered some wear and tear over that time - and they would expect buyers to understand this.

So sellers have the option of whether they want to accept the buyers fix this and fix that request then they could either insert a building report clause that states they will get this fixed and get that fixed, or stop giving in to the initial clause in the agreement and tell this to their solicitor so as well.

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