Who is Responsible For Smoke & Carbon Inspection?
When purchasing any property it is crucial to know if the smoke inspection is buyer or seller responsibility for MA Buyers. In most MA home sales the Seller takes responsibility for having the fire department inspect the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and issue a certificate of compliance with local fire codes in advance of a sale closing. This is one of many necessary steps to prepare for the closing and failure to produce a certificate of compliance at the closing will grind everything to a halt and prevent the sale going through.
In the case of some short-sale and foreclosed (REO or Bank Owned) property we find the responsibility for a smoke and carbon monoxide detector inspection deferred to the Buyer either in the listing itself or in accompanying addenda often posted along with the listing in MLS. This responsibility includes not just arranging for an paying the fire department to conduct the inspection but also bringing the dwelling up to code if it is currently NOT in compliance. To avoid paying the fire department for two inspections and potentially holding up a closing it is wise to work with your buyers agent to preview the property for compliance and add, replace or relocate detectors as appropriate to local code.
Obviously when looking at this kind of property it’s important to work with a buyers agent who knows what seller responsibilities may be placed on the Buyer side in these instances, knows where to look for it in the listing, addenda or sales contract and knows to keep track of and even handle these responsibilities themselves if a buyer is unfamiliar or unavailable. Without this sort of proactive coordination many short-sale and foreclosed property sales can fall apart due to simple inexperience or neglect.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR