How to Handle a Disaster When Under Contract

You have finally found your dream home and are just two weeks away from closing when the unthinkable happens. It can be something as simple as the air condition breaking right before closing or something more complicated like a fire in the home or a broken pipe that floods the house. No matter what the situation, try your best not to panic, which could be really hard depending on the severity of what has happened.

Remember that until you own the home, the seller is responsible for it so any damages will be their responsibility to repair. If you want to proceed, it may just be a matter of timing that slows you down while repairs are made, and the property is returned to the condition it was in when you made the offer on it. The most important thing to do is to be open with your concerns and questions to make it easier to come to an agreement with the seller about how to move forward.

If you are selling a home at the same time, this could also affect that transaction if you are unable to move out when you planned to. Again, honesty is the best policy and the only way to come up with a workable solution for everyone. If you are still able to move and close on your current home, you may be able to find a temporary rental to stay in while repairs are completed or the buyers may be willing to delay closing until you are able to move. There is no simple solution to this kind of problem and many different people may go into determining the outcome.

From a contract perspective, you will be protected from closing on a home that has been damaged. The property is expected to be in as good or better condition at closing then when the contract was signed. If the condition changes, the seller should be responsible for returning it to its prior condition. If that can’t be done easily or they refuse to do so, you would have every right to terminate your contract on the home, but you still may have some logistics to work through related to the termination of the contract.

While some real estate transactions proceed like clockwork, scenarios like this are when you will be thankful to have an experienced real estate agent helping you with the process. They will guide you through any negotiations or discussions necessary to determine the best path to move forward and assist you with any required contract changes, so all of your paperwork is in order. If things go beyond what your agent is comfortable with, they will be able to help you find an attorney to assist you with your needs. Contact me today if you are in the market to purchase a new home and I will be happy to help you start trying to find your dream home. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the contract process, buying a home or help you to determine the value of your existing property.


Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image by Николай Егошин from Pixabay