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What is Verification of Property and What are a Buyer’s Rights?

If you’re in the market for a home and working with a realtor, chances are you might not always understand their terminology.

For instance, if someone asks you about Verification of Property (VOP), do you know exactly what they’re talking about? Here, we will endeavor to explain exactly what a VOP is and what your rights as a buyer are regarding one.

Simply put, a VOP condition is something used by a real estate agent to excuse them from liability after the final walk through of a home. The VOP also serves as proof that a buyer was given the opportunity to look through the home and the property one final time before signing on the dotted line.

In general, the VOP condition is not a contingency of the purchase contract, which means there aren’t any terms to take care of before the closing. The VOP doesn’t change the seller’s contractual obligations to the buyers, i.e. if a seller says they’ll fix a faulty door, they are required to fix it, even if it hasn’t been repaired yet.

The majority of purchase contracts contain some type of wording that indicates that the seller must deliver the home at closing in the same condition as the date of the purchase contract. The purchase contract generally allows for a final walk-through to take place within a certain time frame before the closing. A buyer can, however, choose to waive the final walk-through, though it is not recommended. If they do waive the right for the walk-through and something pops up and you let the escrow close before the problem is fixed, you could find yourself taking the seller to court.

What happens if the VOP is waived and no final walk-through takes place? If the garbage disposal isn’t working when you get the keys and the paper work is signed, you’ve got problems. If you had completed the final walk-through and noticed the problem, you could have asked that it be fixed. Once you’ve closed, it’s too late to ask for something to be fixed.

It’s important to note that a VOP condition won’t stop escrow from closing. If you want to stop the closing, the buyer has to sign a specific request. The bottom line: if you’re buying a home you must be diligent and make sure the property is exactly the way you want it before you close. Once that happens, your leverage goes away.

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