A buyer is allowed to inspect property right up to the closing day, even if there is no due diligence period or the property is sold in an “as is” condition. If there is damage to the property during an inspection, who is responsible for restoring the property?
The 2023 GAR Purchase and Sale Agreement has clarified the situation by adding “Hold Harmless” language. That is, the buyer or the buyer’s agents who damage property are
obligated to pay the seller to restore it. However, the seller can pay for the restoration., but the buyer is required to reimburse the seller. That is, the buyer holds the seller harmless. Inspector may be insured In many cases, the inspector has caused the damage. An inspector will put holes in stucco looking for moisture, remove sheetrock looking for mold, run faucets and forget to turn them off and even step through the attic floor to the ceiling below. Most inspectors do have liability insurance that pays for damage to the property. It is recommended that the seller ask the inspector for proof of liability insurance prior to proceeding with an inspection. In the case of a septic tank inspection, consider including a special stipulation that requires the buyer to restore any landscape disturbance in addition to the any land disturbance at the septic tank site. It can be difficult to get a buyer to restore shrubs, flower beds and other landscaping that may be damaged.
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