Who Maintains the Home During Escrow?

overgrown yard

     Everyone knows that when you are selling a home you want it to look as nice as possible. What some DON’T know is that while the home is in escrow the buyers don’t own the property. This means the responsibility of property maintenance is left to the sellers.

     When I say sellers, I am referring not only to owner occupied homes but also investment properties, and homes that are held in a trust. Just because a property is under contract to be sold doesn’t mean the seller is no longer responsible for watering the grass, and maintaining the pool. It is imperative to ensure the property remains in the same condition as when the offer was originally made. If the seller accidentally punches a hole in the drywall while moving a chair, the seller needs to make that repair. If the water heater bursts, the seller may need to pay for a new water heater to be installed prior to the close of escrow. The buyer made an offer on the property under specific conditions. If those conditions change, the buyer has the right to request the seller repair what has been damaged.

     It is also important to note that if the buyer requested (and seller agreed) for specific items to remain with the home…they need to stay. When a buyer and seller agree a refrigerator will remain with the property, that gorgeous stainless steel $3,000 refrigerator needs to remain with the property. It can’t be switched out with a generic white fridge.

     When selling a home, it is important to remember that the home does not belong to the buyer until the transfer of title has been recorded with the county. Because of this, it is the owner’s responsibility to provide a home that is in the original condition as when the offer was made.

John Jennings, III
BRE#01982171

John Jennings, III is a licensed Realtor® who works for Mid State Realty in Coalinga, CA. For more articles like this one go to johnjenningsrealtor.com. John can be reached at john@oaktreere.net and (559) 970-4312.


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