When The Buyer Backs Out: Real Estate Sales SolutionsWhen The Buyer Backs Out: Real Estate Sales Solutions


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When The Buyer Backs Out: Real Estate Sales Solutions

The first time I sold a house, I had no idea that the buyer could back out of the contract partway through. I was taken aback when it happened to me, and my real estate agent had to explain the process of terminating the contract and requesting the earnest deposit. After the contract was terminated, I spent a lot of time researching why a buyer could back out of a sale, what I could do about it as the seller, and ways to minimize the risk of it happening. I created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of preventing other homeowners from experiencing what I did. I hope it helps you to be better prepared as you sell your home.

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Inspections You Should Make Before Signing A Rental Agreement

Before signing a rental agreement for your future apartment, you should do a walk-through with your landlord to inspect everything. You don't want to be responsible for damages to your apartment later down the road that were there when you moved in. It's your responsibility to find these problems and bring them to your prospective landlord's attention. See below for some of the inspections you should be making.

Kitchen

  • Stove. Check the stove and oven to be sure it's working properly. Turn on all of the burners, check that all of the grates are there and all of the knobs are in place as well. Check that the oven turns on properly and that you don't smell any gas leaks when it turns on.
  • Refrigerator. Inspect the refrigerator/freezer to ensure it is cleaned out and is working. Check for stains or scratches on the exterior and ensure that the ice/water dispenser is working (if it has one). 
  • Faucet. Check the faucet to be sure there aren't any leaks from the faucet itself or from the drain below. Also, be sure the water drains in the sink properly. If there is a garbage disposal attached to your sink, be sure it works as well and that there aren't any funny smells coming from it. 

Bathroom

  • Mold. Inspect the corners of the floor, the ceiling, tub/shower and walls for mold. If you see any signs of mold, especially black mold, you may want to look for another apartment. Mold can cause health issues such as breathing problems.
  • Toilet. Be sure the toilet flushes properly and that the tank refills properly. Listen for any noises after you flush, which can indicate air in the lines. Also check for any leaks around the tank, from the clean water line at the wall, or around the base of the toilet. 
  • Faucets. Check that the sink faucet, shower faucet and bathtub faucets are all in working order. Again, check for any leaks and to see if the water drains out properly.

Utilities

  • HVAC. Check that the furnace and air conditioning system work properly. Be sure they both turn on and off as they should and that the thermostat is working properly as well.
  • Water Heater. Check the hot water in your apartment. Turn on the faucet to see how long the hot water lasts. If it runs out of hot water quickly, the water heater may be to blame. Inspect the water heater for leaks, rust and any water stains, which may indicate a prior leak.

General

  • Infestations. Look around the apartment for any dead insects, or roach or mouse droppings. Look in cabinets and in corners of closets. You don't want to move all of your things into a roach infested apartment.
  • Cleanliness. Is the apartment clean in appearance? Is the carpeting stained, or the walls dingy and stained? The apartment should be deep cleaned before you go to look at it. If it isn't, you may want to look elsewhere.
  • Smoke Detectors. Look through the apartment for smoke detectors and ensure they are all working properly by pressing the test button.
  • Switches And Outlets. Test all of the light switches and check that outlets are all working as well.

Take a walk through your future rental properties with your landlord and take notes of things that are not in working order. If there are things that can be repaired, be sure your future landlord repairs these things before you sign your rental agreement. These inspections may seem tedious and may take some time, but it will be worth it in the end.