What to be aware of when dealing in Buyer visits
In too many offers we write in that a buyer is entitled to 2 or 3 visits and leave it at that, the subject of course to proper notification to the seller to coordinate the time and date. And this is wrong as it is not enough. Can this essential clause come back to blow your deal or cause problems? An ideal clause should exclude visits by appraisers, home inspectors and in some cases engineers or architects (and others). Your main clause should state, “2 or 3 “personal ” visits.” I can give you many scenarios such as:
- You have a long closing and prices rise. The Seller wants to blow the deal so they will not let in an appraiser.
- The Buyer has trouble with Lender A and must go to Lender B but requires another appraisal.
- The Seller (spouses selling because of a split) decide to reconcile and regret making the deal. So many reasons for a Seller to count every visit and then refuse any additional ones, no matter the Buyer’s circumstances. So, in addition to the standard clause allowing for three visits, and consider adding: “Any visits necessary by appraisers, lender representatives, engineers or other needed professionals before closing shall not count as one of the three personal visits. All professional appointments will be granted under the same courtesy as the personal visits. These professionals to be allowed to photograph interior views, take measurements or readings, if necessary.” A rider to this clause – investors. If you represent an investor who is buying for rental purposes, state it. Have the clause read that the Buyer has a right to show prospective tenants up to x times and to go further consider adding, if I exceed the x times (say 5) then I will pay the Seller $50 as inconvenience money. That is an option for you, and yes, the Buyer pays. Do not be out of pocket for this. As the listing agent, what if an investor buys to rent? Nothing in the agreement states that they cannot show prospective tenants. My best advice, if you have a property that may have investor appeal then insert a clause that should the Buyer want to rent the property that they will be limited to x showings (under the same 24 notice, etc.) and not exceed x showings. It is simple, an agreement should reflect not only the terms of sale, but it should be written to compensate for variables and interpretation of the clauses. Vague clauses can be manipulated. Be specific, spell things out and be ready for that odd person who always plays the angle and makes your life and that of your client difficult.
With thanks to Barry Lebow for this article