Thought I would post this for my fellow Calgary Realtors
Many of our Calgary Members seem to be under the impression that their Buyer Client is entitled to a final “walk through” of the property that they purchased prior to or at the time of possession prior to releasing funds to the Seller. For many years a number of our Members have in fact practiced or offered this “service.” Amendments to the Real Estate Act of Alberta have defined our roles as REALTORS® under agency representation and have focused on our fiduciary duties to our clients. It would be a substantial breach of duty for a Sellers Representative to grant access to the property prior to the release of funds to the Seller unless their client had authorized the early access. Permission may have been a term of the purchase contract in which case the Seller’s Representative would have written authorization to provide access to the property prior to closing but still could not release the keys to the Buyer or the Buyers Representative without final acknowledgement of the Seller or the Seller’s Lawyer to do so. The Buyer would have to contact their lawyer and instruct their lawyer to release funds to the Seller’s lawyer before the Seller’s Representative would have the authority to physically release the keys to the Buyers or their Representative. The Seller’s lawyer would have to confirm receipt of the funds or satisfactory arrangements to grant permission to release the keys.
If as a Buyers Representative you wish your client to have the right to do a walk through at or prior to possession, you must insert a clause/term in the Purchase Contract stating so. You would have to define the consequences of any problems which might arise as a result of the walk through as well as an amount for hold back if there is a problem. The Seller would have to agree with this term as it would form part of the Purchase Contract. Currently, in the absence of such a term, the Buyer would take whatever legal remedies they have at law to enforce the terms of the contract if they felt that the Seller had breached the contract (removed appliances or caused substantial damage to the property prior to vacating). If the Buyer refuses to close under the terms of the contract they had signed (vacant possession of the property shall be given at 12 noon on ___), they would be in breach and risk civil litigation for failure to perform under the contract, or worse, lose the sale for failing to close.
Just thought this was good info for everybody.