This slant doesn't seem to be such a minor one. If it's difficult, as you said, to latch the front door....that's a noticeable defect, whether it's structural or not - it's a defect that many would be uncomfortable with. The sellers need to do whatever they can to reassure this buyer, or the next buyer, that at the very least, the slant won't get worse, and it's nothing to fear.
I don't want to waste too much space here discussing my personal similar stories, so if you want to call me, pease do.
1. I showed a slab home that didn't have a slant, but it did have a bump (!) in the middle of one of the rooms ..same issues were brought up.....seller "claimed" it wasn't structural, but there was nothing in writing to prove that point. My buyers passed on it (it wasn't my listing)...and it sat and sat............to be honest , the listing expired, and I think they rented it out ..not quite sure what the status is, as this was over a year ago.
2. I did have a personal experience with a sloping living room floor in a bilevel home, which was built on a slab....this WAS my listing.......this is the story I will be happy to share with you , if you are interested. Cut to the chase - It eventially involved a lawsuit, even though the buyers knew about the slope in the floor following the home inspection, in which the inspector said it "was nothing to worry about".....and they could have walked away at that point, but didn't. Long story............(by the way - I learned, that E&Q insurance has a sizeable deductible (in my case $5000) that kicks in once the papers are filed and the attorneys are called...............and that the agent must share in paying it!). Even though it was a frivolous lawsut, it cost me!
Lawsuits don't have to be justified for the deductible to be paid. As I said...long story.
The moral of the story is, however...........you MUST get your sellers to realize how important it is to have some official verification of structural soundness..............they must now at least disclose this slant in writing in their disclosure (I assume you have one)....and to just acknowledge there "is a slant in the floor" without any more information will be a turn off for buyers.
I do not think the onus is on a future buyer to prove it is a structural concern or not.......it is the seller's responsibility, since they are aware of it, to assure a buyer it isn't a structural concern. That's just my opinion.
The more the sellers make you reaffirm this sale is AS IS, with a known defect and no clarification, the more they will be scaring away potential buyers. If nothing else, they will be affecting the value (ie - price they ultimately get) on the home in a negative way.
The irony is...........they will probably lose more money than the cost of actually bringing an expert in!
Since the slant is obvious and known - the proverbial can of worms has already been opened. They need to deal with it.
Hope this has helped...and as I said, please feel free to give me a call or email me for more information.
Prudential NJ Properties
cell (973) 715-3131
I'm not surprised that it took a new buyer to come along to get it closed, but at least everything was out in the open......and everyone is happy in the end - especially you!
All the best!
Interesting thread. in NC you said "In NC, you do not have to disclose something if it has been repaired, which it had."
In most states, one need not declare a repair if it's repaired using best practices, up to building code, or was performed with a permit.
It seems like the issue here, is that one the three tenants above may have been violated. That is to say, in this particular repair, "best practices" may not have been used.
It's a fairly simple issue, I'll grant you that. But, it's a fairly large repair. Whenever a buyer hears the words, foundation, roof, water leak, they tend to jump 10-feet back.
I can imagine that you were trying to do the right thing, but in this case it appears the buyer would have preferred the issue to be disclosed, and in the end it sounds like disclosing it at first light would have made the seller's life easier too.
Either way, I think you're on the right track in getting the seller to pay for the issue of complaint.
But, my personal feeling is that one should always put ethics, and to an extent the satisfaction of the buyer AND the seller, in front of one's commission. In doing so, you can eliminate these situations, before they're even situations.
Again, I'm simply rephrasing the above for my own benefit, and I'm not insinuating you did not put their best interests at hand. It sounds like you had a difficult seller, and we all know those situations can be challenging.
So, at this point, see if you can continue making everything right. In the future, to avoid the stress and hassle, insist that material issues be disclosed and if your seller refuses to do so, inform them that you have a duty to do so during your Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure (AVID).
Eric M. Abrams
CA DRE # R01862927
"I didn't want the buyer to have that out so that is why I allowed the cost of repair contingency."
I didn't want the buyer to have that out <--- is NEVER a good way to approach a sale. You should instead disclose, show, and allow to be known. Buyers get really ticked off of they even sniff anything is trying to be pulled on them.
Make sure you give buyers a way out IF there is a problem they find one way or another. It saves everyone involved a lot of grief.
You referred to it as a "repaired" concrete slab......obviously the repair didn't entirely correct the problem
You can argue whether the buyer has the right to walk or not.......but in the end, why drag this out if you have an unwilling buyer.
Best to move on, and put the house back on the market. Any legal position you have in regard to the earnest money can be takien up with an attorney.
Your bigger issue is that, based on what you said, the sellers won't pay to bring in a structural engineer. That's a big mistake on their part.
Tell then that unless they do... and they can certify that the foundation is sound..... this home will remaIn in the family, and will be passed down to future generations..... as it won't sell now!
I walked through a house once that I was not sure I would be able to go through as the floor was so far from straight. Some people are very sensitive to things being off kilter. It could be your buyer is not comfortable walking on something that feels dangerous to them.
I know a house that was built well over a century ago. It has floors that are not level. But they do have a constant slope. The house was literally built wrong. Probably to much whiskey at the house raising.
Concrete should always be flat, any other condition would scare me and make me walk away.