Unrepaired Damage in Buy/Sell Agreements

“Billings was recently ranked #1 as the fastest emerging housing market in the Nation. Last year home prices surged an average of 32%. This trend in rising housing costs is happening across the State, showing little sign of slowing.

The competitive environment in the real estate market has increased pressure on quick closings. This pressure often leads buyers to accept ill-advised agreements for unrepaired damage included in their buy/sell agreements. This is Insurance Commissioner Troy Downing.

Our agency is seeing an increase in complaints related to buy/sell agreements where the seller assigns their insurance rights to the purchaser to fix unrepaired damage. Unfortunately, this arrangement does little to protect the buyer because rights cannot generally be assigned without the express permission from the insurance company.

The seller’s insurance company is generally not obligated to speak with, nor compensate the non-insured party for damage. When buying a home, make sure all repairs are completed or get a contractor’s estimate for the repair. You can then either require a credit for the estimated cost of repairs, or leave funds in escrow to cover the costs.

If you have questions about insured, unrepaired damage, or issues with assigning an insurance policy, contact the CSI team at 444-2040 or go to CSIMT.gov.”

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