AAR owns these forms and as such I cannot display them on my website. You can go get the document to see it ahead of time from AAR Sample Forms here, then click “BINSR”.
When the buyer and seller have agreed to a list of repairs on the BINSR, it is then the job of the seller to make repairs prior to 3 days to close of escrow (unless changed on the blank line) according to the Purchase Contract.
A lot of questions arise right away as to whether or not a licensed contractor has to be used for the work completed. According to the contract noted above, all work simply has to be done in a “workmanlike manner”.
However, if the buyer has specifically asked for a licensed contractor to do any or all repairs, then obviously you must do what you have agreed to.
Otherwise, Arizona statutes regarding home repairs are what dictate whether or not a contractor is required. Specifically, what is commonly referred to as the handyman exemption.
What this means is:
If the work being performed totals more than $1,000, which includes all labor and materials, then a licensed contractor must be used. Sometimes a contractor splits labor and materials to bypass this law, or splits the contract into multiple sections, this is against regulations as outlined above.
Obviously this is a bit of a grey area. I’m not qualified to answer the question and am not a licensed contractor, but a rule of thumb for me is:
If it touches any of the systems in the house such as electrical, plumbing, roofing, appliances, or any other system which could cause major damage if done incorrectly, go ahead and use a licensed contractor.
Examples of fixes that might be “casual” enough to use a handyman.
Examples of things that should probably be handled by contractors:
Neither of these lists is comprehenseive or definitive, since the definitions are kind of vague. I’m just trying to give you a sense of things I would personally consider minor, versus things I would not personally consider as minor.
According to section 5a of the contract:
It is also noted than anything that happens to the home during escrow is the responsibility of the seller (except for damages caused by inspections), and that they must notify the buyer right away.
Also, the seller must make the home available for any and all inspections, as well as keep all utilities on during the entire escrow period.
Even if there is a tenant, the seller must make the home available for inspections upon “reasonable notice). The Arizona Landlord Tenant Act, says that 2 days notice need to be given (not 48 hours as commonly stated) to tenants before an inspection. This means Monday afternoon notice can be given for a Wednesday morning inspection.
If tenants do not allow inspectors in the home, it may be necessary to evict them according to the terms of the Landlord Tenant Act which I will not be going over, however the seller is in breach of the contract for not allowing inspections into the home and the buyer may be entitled to cancel the contract and receive earnest money back.
If the property for sale is occupied by tenants, it is best to check before listing the home for sale to make sure they will not cause undue problems during the escrow and inspection periods of the home, and it is often easier just to wait until after the tenants have vacated the property.
At the end of the process, prior to 3 days to close of escrow, the buyer is going to do a Pre-Closing Walkthrough, as outlined in this article.
At that time, they will be checking for 2 things:
1) Is the house in substantially the same condition as when they made the offer?
This means that the house hasn’t had any significant changes or damages since the time they made the offer. Minor dings cause by moving furniture or weeds in the yard are not enough to cancel the contract, although in order to avoid problems, and just to be nice to the buyers, we recommend fixing every little problem that may have been caused since the day they made the offer.
2) Have all repairs been completed?
In order to make this question easier for the buyer to check, it is customary to provide the buyer (or their agent) with all receipts for all work done, anything purchased, and/or photos of all work that was completed that may be difficult to inspect, especially roof work or anything done in the attic, since it is difficult to get up to those places to check, and even then the work may not be visible if it was under tiles, inside of the furnace or air conditioner, or behind drywall that is now patched up.