How To Handle A Problem You Find In The House You're Buying Just Before Closing

24 June 2017
 Categories: Real Estate, Blog


The process of buying a house can take time. After all, you will need to get pre-approved from a lender, shop around for the right house, and negotiate with the seller. You must also get inspections completed, as well as an appraisal. From the time you start this process to the date in which you close on the house could be several weeks or months. While you may be very eager to move in, you may wonder what should you do if you find a major problem with the house during your final walkthrough?

You Could Postpone Closing

There are a lot of different problems you could find in the house you are about to purchase, and an example of this is finding water in the basement when you perform your final walkthrough. If you are in this situation, there are two main options you have, and the first is to postpone closing on the house.

If the problem is really big, or if it is something that really scares you, you always have the option of postponing your closing. The benefit of this is that the seller would have to fix the problem completely before you take possession. The downside is that you will not be able to move in right away. Chances are, you wouldn't be able to move in right away anyhow, if there is a big problem with the house.

If the seller will not agree to fix the problem in full, you could always back out of the deal legally, and you would not lose any deposit you had put down on the house.

Request That Money Be Held Back

The other option you have is to ask the title company to withhold money from the seller at the closing, and you can request the amount. If the problem is major, you may want to ask the title company to withhold $5,000 from the seller at closing. The title company would place this money in an escrow account, and the seller would not receive the money until the problem was remedied. With this option, you would still get to close on the date you had planned to. You may have to wait to move in until after the repairs are completed though.

Finding a big problem with the house you are about to purchase can be a huge inconvenience, but things like this happen. Talk to your Smith Lake real estate agent if you have further questions.