Red Flags in Real Estate Transactions: Navigating Seller Obligations in Contracts: A Pre-Closing Checklist

Introduction to Red Flags in Real Estate Transactions: This is part of a series of blog posts where we share red flags that lawyers watch out for during real estate transactions as part of the conveyancing process. Sharing these insights can empower home buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals to better serve their clients, ensuring smooth and secure property transactions.

Contracts and amendments often come with a host of seller obligations that require careful attention leading up to the closing day. While it’s common for sellers to have a checklist of tasks to complete before Completion Day, it’s essential for all involved parties to stay on top of these obligations to ensure a smooth transaction. So, how can we effectively manage contracts with numerous seller obligations?

  1. Deal with it Ahead of Time: Whenever possible, address these obligations proactively. Start early, so there’s ample time to complete any necessary tasks before the closing date.
  2. Liaise with Clients: Stay in close communication with your clients to receive progress updates and establish realistic timelines for completing their obligations. This ensures everyone is on the same page and avoids last-minute rushes.
  3. Collaboration: Work closely with the other professionals involved in the transaction to coordinate efforts and ensure that all obligations are met.
  4. Pre-Closing Check: A few days before the closing date, conduct a thorough review. Determine what tasks have been completed, what is currently in progress, and what is expected to be outstanding on Completion Day.
  5. Holdbacks: If the contract doesn’t specify holdbacks for incomplete work, seek your clients’ instructions well in advance of closing day. This will help avoid surprises and facilitate necessary negotiations.

By following these steps and staying proactive in managing seller obligations, you can minimize last-minute complications and help ensure a successful real estate transaction for all parties involved.

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