Dear Michael: We are in escrow on our home and the buyers are not following the contingency dates. We are now five days past the date of contingency removal. Do buyers have a contractual obligation?
Answer: The current buyers of your property are technically within their contractual rights unless you have given them a written “notice to perform” (NTP). Removing of contingen-cies is completed by active method of removal. It must be submitted in writing by the buyers. Your residential purchase contract states: “seller shall give buyer a NTP to take the applicable actions”. The time period for a NTP is usually 2 days. If you or your agent has not yet submitted to buyers this notice then I suggest you get it done ASAP. If at the end of the time specified in the NTP the buy-ers have still not removed their contingencies, then you have the right to can-cel the agreement. Your buyers may have legiti-mate reasons that you may or may not sympathize with to extend the contingency time period. To be 5 days past the contingency period without communi-cation is beyond reason-able time. The decision to cancel this transaction is strictly up to you.
Dear Michael: My agent is leaving town, I am wor-ried that she will not be able to attend to all the responsibilities that need to be performed while selling my home. Would it be too much to ask her to cancel her trip?
Answer: Today real estate agents have what we call a “Virtual Office’. We can do it all from anywhere! The industry has changed to where Realtors who were once tied to their car, pen and paper can now perform tasks via cell phones, tablets and lap tops. No one could not have envisioned how technology would change our industry, and for the better. Your agent leaving for 1 week should not have any impact on the way your property is handled. I am sure that your agent, as I would, took all the neces-sary measures and has a coagent handle the sale of your home if there should be any showings or other task that would require a physical presence. Real Estate agents also have the right to a vacation! It is very difficult to book a family vacation 3-6 months prior to a date of departure not knowing how much work we will have at that time. Communicate your concerns to your agent and let her reassure you that everything will be fine.
Dear Michael: I am making an offer on a house where the term “As Is” is used in the description. Should I worry about buying the house in its current condition? What if it is in need of major repairs?
Answer: “AS IS” states that the property is sold by the seller without any repairs. This is common language for foreclosure and short sale properties where the seller will not complete any repairs. In exchange for the as-is con-dition of a foreclosure and short sale the buyer will most often buy the property at a discounted price. The term “as-is” can also mean that the buyer is buying the property in its cur-rent condition and repair items may not be noticeable. Hire a license home inspector to inspect the property. As a buyer it is imperative to know everything about the home you are buying. The condition of the property is one of the most important factors. And, yes that includes a termite inspection or any other conditions requiring inspection. Keep in mind, it never hurts to ask the seller to make or credit repairs. Often times when a seller is in escrow and is motivated to sell his or her home, he/she will concede to the repairs despite the as-is clause.
Michael Kayem is a Real-tor with Re/max Estate Prop-erties serving Culver City and the Westside since 2001. You can contact Michael with your questions at 310- 390-3337 or e-mail them to him at: firstname.lastname@example.org