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Legal Blog

The Legal Blog, brought to you by NVAR's Professional Standards department, helps you stay on top of the latest rules and regulations in the industry.

Lockboxes, Call Before Showing Codes and Inspections

By:
  • Sarah Louppe Petcher
  • Stevie Fisher
Jul 1, 2017

Are There Rules?

Q. Help! I forgot my SentriCard®! How can I access a lockbox for a scheduled showing?

A. SentriSmart™ is a mobile application that allows a SentriCard® owner to generate a mobile access code. The mobile access code will provide access to the lockbox. Please keep in mind that sharing a mobile access code with another person may be a violation of the Code of Ethics and the Regional Rules and Regulations of the SentriLock Lockbox System. For information about the SentriSmart™ mobile application, including how to download the app, please visit nvar.com/android or nvar.com/apple.

Q. A home inspector has requested access to one of my listed properties. How can I allow access?

A. Home inspectors who are affiliate members of NVAR are permitted to use a limited-access SentriCard®. Since they are not Realtor® members acting as real estate agents or appraisers, their SentriCard® requires a “Call Before Showing” code. This code is unique to each lockbox and must be provided by the listing agent to the affiliate member who is requesting access. The CBS code will then be used by the affiliate member in combination with his or her SentriCard® to access the lockbox. For information about CBS codes, including how to obtain a CBS code for your box, please visit nvar.com/cbs.

Q: What happens when a buyer conducts a walk-through inspection the day before (or the day of) settlement, only to discover outstanding items the seller agreed, but failed, to repair?  

A. This scenario creates an impediment to a smooth closing because lenders often do not allow a credit or escrow adjustment at closing. Providing for more than one walk-through inspection gives buyers the ability to check on the progress of work (or confirm the completion of work) as early as one week before settlement. This also preserves the standard and recommended practice of conducting a final walk-through the day before or morning of settlement. The seven-day walk-through period provides the buyer time to check on the progress of work and follow-up with the seller if work is incomplete, thereby allowing time for the parties to make alternative arrangements.

Q:  How many walk-through inspections is a buyer allowed? Can the seller limit the buyer to only one walk-through inspection?

A. The contract does not set a limit on the number of walk-through inspections. However, the buyer can agree to be limited to one walk-through inspection.

Q:  Is the buyer allowed more than one walk-through inspection, even if there is nothing for the seller to repair or replace?

A.  Under paragraph 11, access must be reasonable in order to comply with the terms of the contract. The buyer is allowed to do a walk-though inspection even in the absence of a home inspection contingency to ascertain that the property is in substantially the same physical condition as the time selected in paragraph 10 of the contract (date of contract, date of home inspection or other).

Q:  Can a buyer bring his/her contractor or home inspector to the walk-through to ensure that work was completed in accordance with the home inspection report? Can a buyer bring his/her decorator, painter or contractor onto the property as part of a walk-through inspection?

A.  Yes, as long as the contractor or home inspector is on the property or in the premises for purposes of ensuring that work was completed in accordance with the contract’s terms. Buyer representativea must be in the premises for purposes of complying with the terms of the contract. Decorators, painters and buyer’s contractors (who will be performing work after settlement) do not qualify.
Group(s):
  • Real Estate Laws
Categories:
  • Legal Services
  • Lockbox Service
  • On The Market