My New Home: Should I Escrow for Repairs?
Home purchasers are often confronted with deferred maintenance and other repair issues associated with the purchase, whether disclosed by a home inspection or otherwise. In turn, we are frequently asked to advise clients as to the best manner to handle required or agreed-upon repairs, and our advice is simple and direct: have all repairs completed prior to closing!
Other possibilities involve escrowing for post-closing repairs or allowing a seller to make repairs after closing, and in our experience either of these alternatives involves significant risk to the buyer. Closing is frequently the only “leverage” which will compel performance by a seller, and after closing many sellers are understandably less interested in timely or quality completion of necessary repairs. Similarly, escrow agreements can lead to trouble, as embedded in every escrow agreement is ready debate concerning the return of excess funds, not to mention timely or quality completion of repairs.
Our advice to home buyers is pretty clear: insist on the quality and timely completion of necessary repairs before closing; we can assure you that post-closing arrangements for the completion of repairs will cause much consternation after closing that could be avoided in most situations by insisting on pre-closing completion of repairs.