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Charles, Home Buyer in Puyallup, WA

Addressing a safety or hazardous condition in a short sale.

Asked by Charles, Puyallup, WA Sat Jul 7, 2012

We are considering purchasing a short sale and understand that means accepting a home "as is." To get a grasp of the condition of the house before moving forward with the process, we elected to conduct a home inspection. If a safety or hazardous condition is found in a home inspection (ie. water heater beyond it's service life cycle, improperly installed, with exhaust gases entering the living space,) who does the responsibility fall on to correct the issue?The buyer or the seller and/or bank? Although the short sale is "as is," is the seller or bank still liable because it is a safety, hazardous issue?

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I know this is a little dated...but other people may be reading this. You could always see if the bank could do an escrow hold back or FHA 203k loan to fix the problem. It depends on what the problem is though. Sometimes they're only do weather related repairs sometimes more than that so you want to ask.

Kari Harmon
253-314-2300
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 28, 2013
If it is being sold as is and it's a short sale then most likely the seller isn't going to pay for the repairs and the bank may or may not but probably not. If you end up going through with the purchase you will most likely need to pay for the repairs yourself.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 7, 2012
Great answer!
Flag Sat Nov 16, 2013
Great answer!
Flag Sat Nov 16, 2013
The answer as to your bank really depends on what the appraiser calls out. Without seeing the situation it would be impossible to say, but I think it's unlikely that the bank would require that to be repaired. The appraiser would likely call for CO detectors to be installed, if they have not been already.

As between you and the seller, it's really more of a disclosure issue, and then a negotiation issue. Since you've already found out about the problem, it's now a negotiation issue. I would not necessarily assume the seller wouldn't pay to fix these problems, but they also don't seem like the most major problems possible. Presumably you're getting the house at a good discount, more than the cost of having a new water heater installed.

What you don't want to do is buy the place and ignore the problem. CO can be a serious issue, and water gets heated 365 days a year, unlike say a furnace, where now you would have a couple of months to fix.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 7, 2012
Even though you are purchasing 'AS IS' you still have the option to do a home inspection.

Step 1, Enter into a purchase and sale agreement subject to financing and a home inspection.

Step 2, Do the home inspection and if the problems are more than you want to deal with then you have the option to move on to another home or try to get some $$$ from the seller for this work.

Even though the sale is a short sale you can still treat it as a normal deal.

The problem with short sales is at any time another offer can come in during the pending time and if it is higher than your offer you might have to raise your offer to be the best and highest.

Larry Nordberg
253-921-2000
Web Reference: http://www.homevendor.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 7, 2012
Basically no one is responsible & you want to negotiate with the seller who will take care of what. If the seller refuses to do anything, then it is left to you. But, remember, you do not have to purchase the house. On another not, you really should be having this conversation with your broker, who, I hope is experienced in short sales. I just represented a seller that agreed to pay for the materials while the buyer provided the labor to put drainage around a house because they found 3 feet of water under the house! this needs to be a cooperative effort.

Good luck, Jirius Isaac
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 7, 2012
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