There is so much riding on a closing date, both for buyers and sellers. Sometimes an innocent mistake can unknowingly lead to a delay and added expenses for sellers. To avoid a potential problem, Massachusetts sellers should be aware of the following common seller pre-closing mistakes.
Not Completing a Smoke Detector Inspection Early
All homes sold in the state of Massachusetts must be inspected by the local fire department for working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Most cities and towns have designated days for such inspections. In fact, some only perform them one day per week. Depending on how active the market is, it’s possible that the appointment slots will fill up weeks in advance. Thus, if you wait too long to schedule a smoke inspection, your closing could be delayed. To avoid this common seller pre-closing mistake, be sure to get your home inspection-ready and contact the fire department shortly after your P&S Agreement is signed.
Waiting Last Minute to Schedule the Final Water & Sewer Reading
Similar to smoke inspections, local water and sewer departments require in-person final meter readings and have limited appointments available. Although you do not want to have the meter read too far ahead of the closing, you should contact the water-sewer department to at least schedule your appointment. This ensures that the information will be available in time for your closing.
Most standard purchase and sales agreements indicate that all fixtures are included in the sale of a home. Removing fixtures is among the most common seller pre-closing mistakes in Massachusetts. It’s normally an honest mistake since the definition of “fixtures” is not always clear. To avoid confusion, sellers should disclose anything that is “attached” to the home that they intend to remove, such as shelves, hooks, and curtain rods. For any questionable items encountered during the move, check ahead of time regarding the buyer’s expectations. This avoids an issue when the buyers perform their final walk-thru immediately before closing.
More on Common Seller Pre-closing Mistakes in Massachusetts
The worst part about common seller pre-closing mistakes in Massachusetts is that they typically occur so close to the closing date that there is little time to resolve the issue. What happens in that case? When it comes to smoke inspections, the closing cannot take place until the smoke certificate is obtained. For final water/sewer readings, money may be held back from seller’s proceeds pending receipt and payment of that final bill. For other issues such as disputes over fixtures or property condition, buyers may end up negotiating monetary compensation. Either way, it will create a stressful situation before closing and disrupt plans that both buyer and seller have in place for the closing and move. Avoid the headache by being conscious of these potential issues and taking steps to avoid them.