It’s important for sellers to be aware that preparations for the final inspection of their property should not be left until the last minute, especially if a seller has entered into an O&A which includes any Special Conditions.
In fact any Special Conditions need to be addressed sooner rather than later, as one seller discovered when he failed to take action on a Special Condition to replace a fence at his property until just one week out from the final inspection. This resulted in a dispute between himself and the buyers and causing an inconvenient delay in settlement.
In this case, our seller, Mr Howard, (not his real name) had entered into an O&A on his property specifying that “the seller was to replace the fence at the side of the property” as a special condition.
All was progressing well with the sale, however as the settlement date approached, the agent noted that the seller still had not installed the fence. Reminding Mr Howard that he must meet the Special Condition prior to the final inspection, the agent recommended that he take urgent action.
At one week out from the final inspection, the seller finally tried to organise for a fencing contractor to do the job. However, unfortunately he could not secure a contractor in time to get the fence installed.
Due to the delays with getting tradespeople to his property, the fence was not ready for final inspection and the seller was not able to satisfy the special condition.
The buyers were understandably upset with the situation and a dispute arose between the seller and themselves causing a delay to settlement.
Ultimately, the seller was hit with penalty charges until the situation was rectified and settlement was reached.
The take home value of this story, and others like it, is for sellers to be made aware that it is important to satisfy any Special Conditions as a matter of priority once the O&A is signed.
In this case, if the seller had addressed the special condition in a timely manner the dispute and subsequent delay could well have been avoided.
Sellers need to be reminded that completing special conditions in a timely manner is essential to avoid delays.
Image by Christian Scheja via Flickr.