OK, so it’s not as dramatic as the point in the wedding ceremony where the officiating clergy asks the assembled guests to “speak now or forever hold your peace.”
But functionally, the walk-thru performed by the Buyer just before closing plays much the same role in a residential real estate deal.
That’s because the standard for recovery from a Seller past the point of closing requires that the Buyer prove: 1) that the problem existed at the time of closing; and 2) that the Seller knew about it — or should have.
So, the furnace that worked at closing, but failed the next day?
Yup, the Buyer’s obligation.
Ditto for any number of maintenance-related items (appliances, wet basements, etc.) where timing, as the saying goes, is everything.
Of course, the Buyers have a strong case for pursuing a Seller who clearly knew of a problem at the time of sale.
It may just be a Realtor version of an urban myth, but the classic example is the Buyer who has a sewer backup soon after closing (a very unpleasant, and memorable, problem to have!).
The new homeowner calls Roto Rooter, which promptly dispatches a repairman.
On the way into the basement, the repairman — who tellingly needs no directions — tells the new owners, “I told the Smith’s they needed to have those pipes looked at before it backed up again.”