Buyers can’t do renovations before moving in.

Many buyers want to know if they can do renovations before moving in. They want to know if they can do the renovation before the property closes so the new home is all neat and tidy for move in day. 

I want to take you through a scenario that I encountered a few weeks back. I was the listing agent for a tenant occupied condo in Vancouver. So because it was tenant occupied, naturally it wasn’t in the best shape, the walls were a little scuffed up and needed re painting. It’s impressive what a fresh coat of paint can do to a place.

So anyways, we get an accepted offer on the condo unit based on the condition that the buyer would be allowed to paint the place before they moved in. Now obviously it would be a lot easier for the buyer to be able to paint the place before having their stuff all moved in. But there’s a huge problem with this.

If a buyer was to re paint the place before closing on the property and something should happen, say, a paint can falls over and ruins the flooring. Or who knows a paint can gets left out in the sun and catches on fire, whole ton of damage later. All of this liability falls onto my seller because he still owns the place. So, although it’s an accepted offer, subjects off, deposit received, the title has still not transferred into the hands of the new buyer. Therefor legally speaking should any damages occur it would be entirely on the seller.

Anyways, we smoothed this out with the buyers and agreed that the painting would have to be done after closing and once the buyer takes possession of the property. There is zero way around this. The buyer receives the property in the same condition as when they previously viewed it at the last showing or open house or whatever. Buyers should never be allowed to do any kind of renovation before closing.