Every so often, I like to give my teenage daughter a heads up that I’m coming downstairs to check the condition of her room. I do this for two reasons; first, to serve as a warning of a potential incoming storm (my reaction if her room is a disaster), and second, for my own emotional health — to avert said incoming storm. So early Saturday morning, on my way to the gym, I texted her: “Hey, I’ll be home in a couple of hours and will be checking on your room.” No response.
Around noon, after returning home from the gym and an appointment following, I headed downstairs. She met me at the landing. “You can’t go into my room right now.” I informed her that I actually can. As the owner of the home, as well as the parent of her minor child self, I can enter her room at will. To put it in real estate terms; this is my due diligence period. I have the right to conduct any tests, evaluations, or verifications of the physical condition of the property; including, but not limited to, the existence of any hazardous substances (in this case, old pizza and stinky socks), environmental issues (again, pizza and stinky socks), condition of walls, flooring, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and or land improvements, regulatory use restriction violations, or any other matters deemed material.
Essentially, this describes section 8.1 (a) of the Utah Real Estate Purchase Contract. It’s pretty transparent. The buyer has a right to conduct these evaluations. As per contract, “Seller agrees to cooperate with the Buyer’s Due Diligence.” In other words, I get to check out my daughter’s room whether she wants me to or not.
Last week, I received a call from a buyer I am representing on the purchase of a home. We had just completed the initial inspection and he decided that he wanted a meth test done on the home as well. We were still within our due diligence time period and so I told him I would set it up. After contacting the home inspector and getting a time that he could conduct this test, I called the list agent. I left a message and then texted him with the request. Due to the delayed response time for the request, we had to schedule a new time for the inspector to access the home. Once we had it all set up, I let the seller’s agent know when he would be there.
The night before the scheduled test day, I received a text from the agent stating that the seller was “not comfortable” allowing a meth test. He said he would call me in the morning to explain.
I reminded him that this was time sensitive and asked him to reach out sooner than “in the morning.” I also reminded him that, according to section 8.1 (a) of the REPC, that the seller must accommodate this and any other requested test if it is within the due diligence time period; which, by the way, the clock was quickly ticking on. I even sent him a screenshot of that part of the REPC as a reminder. He did not respond.
The next morning, I left two messages and sent a text. One hour before the inspector was scheduled to arrive, he called back and told me that his clients had received a false positive on a previous meth test on a different home and so they weren’t allowing it. I reminded him again that per contract the sellers had already agreed to allow this. He told me he was checking with his attorney. I told him to save his money and ask his broker instead.
We had to cancel the test, again. I sent over an extension to the due diligence deadline so we could get this worked out.
The next day, after several attempts to get a response, I finally received a text: “You are correct, you can go ahead and do the testing. I will send over the signed extension.”
The REPC is a legal, binding document when signed by both parties. It is important to know what you are signing.
My daughter, on the other hand, doesn’t have to agree, it’s a unilateral contract of sorts. I signed the birth certificate, now she has to clean her room.