Avoid escrow with proper documents | Just Ask Jan

Our home is in escrow. We have just been told that we cannot close because we do not have a road maintenance agreement with our neighbors. Can you help?

Dear Jan: Our home is in escrow. We have just been told that we cannot close because we do not have a road maintenance agreement with our neighbors. Can you help?

—DC

Dear DC: It is pretty rare these days for those living on a shared road to not have a road maintenance agreement; this is because lenders started requiring them back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Therefore, if anyone on your road re-financed their home or someone bought a home on your road since then, there is a good chance there is a road maintenance agreement in place. One broker in our office recently had this happen. He did some phenomenal detective work and found a recorded document in an old title report on another file of a person on that same road.

Now, let’s say you aren’t that lucky … Your next course of action is most likely to have an attorney draw up a road maintenance agreement.  It can be very detailed or very basic.  I have seen basic ones indicating that when the road needs work all people on the road will share in the cost of fixing it.

Once the document is drafted, it has to be notarized by those on the road.  The question came up in our broker’s case asking what happens if all the players don’t sign. They were told that if several parties sign the agreement the lender most likely would accept the agreement.

I always say … where there is a will, there is a way! Our local title companies and real estate brokers are very helpful. Give them a call and see how they can help.  Best wishes,

— Jan Zufelt is an agent with John L. Scott Real Estate in Kingston.