You often see the term “in good working order” somewhere in an Agreement of Purchase and Sale, but what exactly does that mean?
Some would argue that it means that your home has been running without any hiccups and/or problems and it is in “good working order”. What if you warrant that it is in good working order? Do you think it is expected of you to have different inspections done of the home or do you believe that since you have had no hiccups in your home, you should have the ability to safely say it is in good working order?
I am of the opinion that all home purchasers should be getting a home inspection, or they fall victim of “buyer beware” no matter what. Even if the seller warrants that the home is in good working order, they have no specialized skills to tell you if there a deficiency in the home that would only be caught by a specialized inspector and has probably been there for years and years and has caused no problem.
I was recently part of a civil case where the Judge found that the Seller was liable for the electrical repair because the purchaser did an electrical inspection and it turned out there were code violations which as quoted, were probably there for years and years. This put the burden on the Seller to have the home inspected before they agreed that the home was in good working order.
I have looked up case law to see what the courts have defined as “good working order” to have only found one case that specifically stated that the Judge was not able to find case law on the definition. She did quote an American case that stated that good working order just didn’t mean that the light switches worked. Everything in this home worked without any problems for years and years….so the lesson here is buyer beware, but seller beware as well.