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D.C. Area Changes Rules For Buyers


hausdok
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Jan 9, 2012

Up until the first of the year, buyers in the D.C. area and in Virginia had a reasonable expectation that, even without an inspection, the heating, cooling, washer/dryer and anything mechanical or electrical was working properly at the time of move-in. No longer due to a recent change to real estate contracts for all homes sales in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia. Under the new contract, houses are sold as-is and sellers have no obligation to fix anything - now it's all negotiable.

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Back in the day, realtors considered contingencies 'weasel clauses.' So who does this change really affect/protect?

Most realtors can barely fill out a 'standard' contract, much less add the contingencies that might be appropriate for a particular buyer's needs.

The first thing that is negotiable in any contract, is the contract! The second thing is the idiot that writes it!. . . or vice versa.

So, what happens to the earnest money? Can you sue the realtor for poor service with a bad/inappropriate contract? Is the sale contingent on sale of the previous property?

Looks like more business for lawyers, as usual!

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  • 3 weeks later...

That's not true; I see systems constantly that are balanced from floor to floor. You don't need one system per floor. I've even seen 3 floor systems, but for them to work, you have to have duct balancers tied to thermostats, in essence creating control zones. I don't like them, but they can work.

Basic function is part of the scope of a home inspection. This fellow sounds like his system just plain doesn't work. I think that's easily in the scope of our job. And, for goodness sake, how hard is it to turn a system on and walk around the house to see if there's a heat source providing air flow?

This hiding behind the SOP thing is wrong if something doesn't work. SOP's weren't written with the customer in mind; they were written by folks trying to balance all the competing interests of the stakeholders in the process. Shoot, the ASHI SOP doesn't even require us to check combustion air. Is that right?

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