skimaine1, Home Buyer in West Hills, CA

As part of the purchase and sale agreement, the seller agreed to fix an issue and did not. Forged document...

Asked by skimaine1, West Hills, CA Tue Jan 1, 2013

The seller agreed to fix the fireplace, but I just found out -she didn't. In fact, she forged a receipt showing it was fixed. What can I do?

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Answers

12
You're in attorney territory if you want to go beyond getting the fireplace fixed. You may be able to get the fireflace fixed by working through the agents with the seller...and letting the Seller know that you are considering a legal case against them for fraud...which if your facts are correct it appears they have committed. The notion that your rights in this matter end somehow because you signed the closing documents is...check this with an attorney...absurd. I suppose there are a lot of sellers and listing agents who would like to believe that any fraud they've committed in the course of a transaciton disappears at the point you close, but that is silliness.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 2, 2013
Whatever was agreed to by the seller should survive closing. In other words, if she didn't do what she was supposed to do, then she's still responsible, even after closing.

However, the forging part makes it a little messy. Yes, it sucks that she did that.First, I'd have your agent call her agent and explain the situation (and provide the documentation) and see what they're willing to do. Maybe she could just give you some sort of $$ compensation to make the whole situation go away? I doubt you really want to hire an attorney, or take her to small claims? Sounds like a fairly minor issue.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2013
Well, the real question is this - do you want it fixed or do you want to punish her? You have no grounds to punish her, as she has not broken the law, so concentrate on what will fix the problem.

Holding a grudge does not solve the problem, all it does is raise your blood pressure.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2013
Hard to answer without all the facts. Your Attorney should be contacted for sure.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 15, 2013
I would be willing to bet bringing the matter to the attention of all brokers involved would get it to a resolution real fast.

End of the contract being the end for agent involvement sounds like an exit strategy. I guess no agent has ever been suspended, fined, jailed, etc. after a closing happened because that was the end. Really?!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 15, 2013
The listing agent is not responsible for the fraud unless they participated in forging the docs or knowingly transfered the forged doc. The purpose of the walk thru is to catch these problems ahead of closing. I think you will find the seller's agent is not going to get involved in this case. Also the time and money to settle this will probably exceed the price of fixing the fireplace. I would ask the brokerage company of the seller's agent about their liability in this case. If you can prove fraud on the agent's part you can arbitrate with the local RE board.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2013
You should probably fix the fireplace yourself. The seller's agent is not going to get involved. If the fireplace was that big of an issue you should have checked it on your final walk through. Sorry but the agent facilitates the contract and closing day is the end of the contract with the agents. When you signed the closing docs you accept the property as is. As for the fraud you can call your local DA and see if there is a criminal case. Sorry this happened to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 2, 2013
Thank you all for responding, but it is so clear that she forged the document.... I have the document from the furnace repair guy showing what he did. She gave me the exact copy with a line added in there that the fireplace was also fixed. I have both copies and the furnace guy is very upset that she wrote that in also. I can't just let her get away with this??
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2013
Definitely talk to your agent first. ask him or her to please contact the Seller's Agent and explain the situation, and ask for the fix to be completed. In the meantime, ask your agent to get you all the paperwork that you need hsowing the Seller had promised the fix in the contract. Then review it again to make sure you didn't misunderstand the language (yes, sometimes misunderstandings occur).

Lastly, if the Seller and/or her agent refuse to help, let them know that you will need to mediate first, then you fully plan to take them to court for the repairs as well as any other damages that may have been incurred. If that still doesn't do the trick, you will need to follow through.

In Colorado, under $7500 damage, the case is to be heard in Small Claims Court, where you cannot have an attorney, so make sure you have all your ducks in a row. I would be willing to bet that you won't get that far, but regardless, best of luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2013
I have contacted my agent and she said to hire a lawyer. I actually have a copy of the receipt which is from the furnace guy who showed his work. On his invoice the home owner wrote in that the fireplace was also fixed. I have the receipt she gave me and his. Clearly, she added that to his invoice and he is also very upset. I have both copies.... What now?
Flag Tue Jan 1, 2013
Unfortunately, it may come down to money:
How much are we talking about?
Is it worth involving a Lawyer?
Would it be a better idea to just forgive her?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2013
John explained it perfect contact your agent. We can not give legal advice.
Good luck and happy new year!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2013
First, ask your agent. But you probably need an attorney. Good luck and know that we are not allowed to give legal advice. Happy New Year!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2013
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