If Your Tree Falls on Your Neighbor’s Fence…
No, this is not a set up to a joke. Though at times, real life real estate transaction situations can feel like a brain teaser, this is something that I am dealing with today in my practice as a Gainesville Buyer’s Agent.
My buyer purchased a property and allowed the sellers to stay put for sixty days under a post-settlement occupancy agreement. In general, these post-settlement occupancy agreements make fixing items that go wrong like appliances, heating, air, plumbing and so forth the sellers responsibility to fix. The property is to be delivered to the buyer after the post settlement occupancy in the same condition as it was on Settlement Date.
Last week, well after the purchase of the home, a tree iced over on my buyer’s new property and fell on the neighbor’s fence. The big question is who is responsible for what? We’ve got a tree needing to be removed and a fence needing repair.
The fence seems to be a cut and dried issue according to my buyer’s home owner’s insurance. That damage belongs to the neighbor. At issue, and not hotly contested by either the buyer or seller is who is to pay for the tree removal. Well, that’s a great question and after three interpretations of the contract, we have nearly three different answers. (sigh) This is not a cut and dried issue.
Thankfully, the parties involved are in it to help each other out. The real life situation will be smooth and the tree removal paid for with no hurt feelings. However, because I am a gigantic real estate geek, I am digging into the issue and the three paragraphs in the contract that seem to offer conflicting responsibility to sort it out.
Want a real estate geek on your side when you buy or sell your home? I’m ready to assist you. Get in touch with me and you’ll soon realize exactly how passionate I am about the real estate contract and how important it is.
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not Long & Foster.