The following is a “nightmare” closing that occurred not too long ago. I want to thank Mike Moshan, a partner at the law firm Gold Scollar Moshan, PLLC, for his help.
How can a toilet clog up a closing?
The facts: The client was buying a fancy new construction condo and they had to close to save their interest rate. They did their walk-through to create their punch list and discovered that the toilet in the master bath was built too close to the wall, that it made it difficult and uncomfortable to sit down.
The sponsor was not convinced the toilet position was problematic. The closing, during which the word “toilet” was used more than five hundred times, went on and on.
The Boland Team’s take: This could have been avoided, of course. It sounds to me like a classic case of doing the walk-through too late and they didn’t see the toilet built. If you’re buying in to new construction, it’s guaranteed to be delivered as close to perfect as possible. The toilet may have been added after they first saw the apartment or they didn’t notice it before they signed their contract. Either way, give yourself plenty of time to really inspect the place.
What we would suggest is spending more time in the apartment before you sign the contract. We would encourage people to spend an hour—-really take a look, really go through everything before you sign the contract. Something like where the toilet is positioned, it is not up for re-negotiation. If the buyer walked through the unit and the toilet was there originally, they have very limited recourse other than try to get a concession from the developer.
In the End: Michel Moshan says: “The ultimate remedy for the buyer was to not close, but because of their interest rate they had to. So we had to convince the sponsor that they would re-examine the bathroom and the toilet’s position, and agree at least that there may be a problem. So they were in a tough spot, because of their interest rate and they didn’t have as much muscle, and so had to try and get some mushy language in the punch list regarding a remedy.
“In the end, the toilet was moved—on the sponsor’s dime.”