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Representing Homebuyers in Real Estate Transactions: Top 25 List -What’s Missing from the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors Standard Contract?

By Mark S. Steier

Direct Telephone: (860) 231-1014
Email: [email protected]

  1. A provision requiring the seller to provide buyer with keys, garage door openers and codes.
  2. A provision expanding the termite and wood destroying insects inspection to also include infestation by bees, bats, rats, roaches, mice, hornets, wasps, snakes and raccoons.
  3. A provision that makes the home inspection subject to the satisfaction of the buyers in their sole discretion.
  4. A provision giving the seller the right to terminate the contract in the event the parties are unable to agree on inspection issues.
  5. A provision requiring the seller to provide the buyer with copies of any radon, septic, water, or home inspection report they received since they’ve owned the property.
  6. A representation from the seller that they know of no underground storage tanks on the property, and that in the event the same were located on the property, they have been properly decommissioned in accordance with state or local regulation, and a requirement that seller provide buyer with appropriate proof prior to closing of such compliance. This representation shall survive the closing.
  7. A representation from seller as to the existence of any wetlands on the property, or if it is located within any flood hazard area, and buyer’s ability to declare the contract void if it, in fact, is located in a flood hazard zone, or contains wetlands areas that are not satisfactory to buyer.
  8. A representation that the property sustained no damage from wind or water during Hurricane Sandy or Irene, and, in the event such damage did occur, what remediation was taken by the seller. Buyer should be given an opportunity to review such as information in the right to cancel the contract and obtain a full refund of all deposits if they so elect.
  9. A representation from the seller that they are unaware of any easements, deed restrictions, or zoning ordinances which might affect the subject premises as a legal one family home, or, in the event the buyer wishes to put a pool in a certain location, that there are no restrictions or easements that would impact such an improvement.
  10. A representation from seller that in the event they have a home equity line of credit that sellers will forward appropriate correspondence to the lender irrevocably freezing it as of the date of the contract and providing written proof of same to buyers attorney.
  11. A representation from the seller that the payoff of all mortgages shall be the requirement and responsibility of the seller, irrespective of the fact that at closing a deficient amount of money may have been paid to the mortgage company or bank and demand for a subsequent amount of funds is required to satisfy said obligation in order to obtain the appropriate release of mortgage. Seller agrees to make said payment on such deficiency demanded within five days of receipt of such notification. This paragraph shall survive closing of title.
  12. A representation from the seller that they have sufficient equity in the subject property to close on this transaction without having to bring funds to closing to satisfy any and all obligations as set forth under the contract, and a further representation that this is not a short sale requiring lender approval to culminate the transaction.
  13. A representation from the seller that they have not received any notices of any variances or other zoning issues from neighboring properties within six months prior to the execution of the contract and, in the event any such notices had been received prior to the date of closing, that said notice shall be provided to the buyer within five days of receipt of same. The buyer shall have an opportunity to review such notice and based upon the content of such notice, the buyer may cancel the contract within three days of receipt of such notice if the buyer so chooses, and receive a refund of any deposits previously paid.
  14. The seller represents that during seller’s period of ownership, no work has been performed on the premises for which a building permit has been required other than that for which building permits were obtained and for which certificates of occupancy have been issued and seller will provide to the buyer’s attorney copies of any and all permits obtained and closed out in connection with any and all improvements made to the subject premises, if any, within seven days of the conclusion of the attorney review period. This paragraph shall survive closing of title.
  15. The seller represents that the subject premises is not part of a Common Interest Community or Association and is not required to make payment to any entity on either an annual or monthly basis for dues and assessments.
  16. At the time of closing, the seller shall provide buyer with any warranties that they may have in their possession that are in full force and effect concerning the subject matter premises, including, but not limited to appliances, roof, air conditioning, heating etc.
  17. Within three days after the conclusion of the attorney review period, the seller agrees to order a home insurance claims report, known as a CLUE report, from Choice Point for $19.50 for an electronic copy. Choice Point can be reached at 866-527-2600 or www.choicetrust.com. The seller shall be reimbursed said sum at the earlier of closing of title or contract termination. Seller shall provide buyer with a copy of such report upon receipt and buyer shall have three business days after the date of receipt to review the report. In the event that buyer find said report to be unsatisfactory, buyer reserves the right to cancel the contract receive a refund of any and all deposits paid. The seller agrees to sign an affidavit certifying the results of the CLUE report.
  18. The subject premises shall appraise at the contract price, or more, or, if less, the parties can agree to an appropriate adjustment, or failing that, buyer may cancel the contract receive a refund of all deposits paid.
  19. A time of essence closing date with penalties if it doesn’t close by a certain outside date.
  20. A requirement that sellers do more than merely leave the house in broom clean condition e.g. interior of refrigerator scrubbed and cleaned out.
  21. A representation that no utility lines cross the property of an adjoining owner to serve the premises.
  22. A representation as to the nonexistence of urea formaldehyde or other type of foam insulation or asbestos related material.
  23. A representation of no basement or roof water leaks.
  24. As to septic, a representation that it is entirely within lot lines, serves no other premises, and has required normal maintenance only.
  25. As to well water, a representation that the well and pipes are entirely within lot lines, serves no other premises, and that during seller’s entire period of ownership, the well has produced sufficient clear and potable water for normal domestic use.