REO Buyer Beware Re: Smoke and CO Detectors

If Massachusetts, it is the sellers responsibility to outfit the home with approved smoke detectors & carbon monoxide detectors. It is further the sellers obligation to obtain a compliance certificate from the local fire department prior to closing.

However, when working with Buyers of bank owned(REO) and foreclosed property, I frequently encounter property listings that disclose it is the Buyer’s responsibility to obtain the smoke & CO compliance certificate.

Most REO purchase contracts include this language because the property is being sold “as-is”.

Inexperienced agents may simply let this go, but I like to take fight back.  I recommend that my clients write offers that clearly articulate that the smoke & carbon monoxide detectors and the corresponding compliance certificate shall remain the responsibility of the Seller.  Some agents object, but if the Buyer’s offer is strong and well-qualified, most listing agents will submit to this request with an offer.

Mark J. Kiklis, REALTOR® at Kiklis Real Estate, LLC                            Follow Mark on Twitter

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