In section 7 of our Spring Texas real estate contract the touchy subject of property condition is addressed. Buyers, sellers, and Realtors seem to generally understand the majority of the items in this section. That is until they reach 7.D. ACCEPTANCE OF PROPERTY CONDITION which is where confusion takes over.
In section 7.D., Spring Texas home buyers have to either check box (1) they are accepting the property in its present condition or box (2) they accept the property in its present condition, provided Seller, at Seller’s expense, shall complete the following repairs and treatments.
On the majority of offers I receive, the buyers have checked box (2) and have written in “all deficiences listed on the inspection report”. This causes my sellers immediate heartburn because it commits them to correct every single deficiency listed on the inspection report. If the sellers agreed to (2), they would be writing a blank check to cover every item identified on the report. Whether the repair could be handled with a $5 tube of caulk or the repair was to bring an item up to today’s building codes, it wouldn’t matter because the seller would have agreed to fix them all.
The true purpose of section 7.D. is to list any items the buyers are making their offer contingent upon the sellers repairing. As a buyer, a specific repair you may want to make your offer contingent upon is the sellers installing a new roof or a water heater or replacing a broken window.
If you are not requiring the sellers to make any repairs at the time of your offer, you should check box (1). If you have purchased a termination option in Section 23 of the real estate contract, you still have the right to inspect the house and request the sellers to make repairs. If the sellers agree to the repairs, the contract will be amended detailing the repairs to be made. If you and the sellers can not come to terms on the repairs, you still have the right to terminate the real estate contract during the option period.
As a buyer the main thing to remember is when you accept the property in its present condition, you are NOT forfeiting any of your rights to request the sellers to make repairs based upon your inspection of the house.