Home Buying in 07960>Question Details

Alison, Home Buyer in 07940

I am in the beginning stages of buying my first home. When I initiated the process, I was provided with a?

Asked by Alison, 07940 Fri Aug 15, 2008

Seller's Property Condition Disclosure Statement (completed by the seller). Since that time, I have discovered that the seller misrepresented some of the information listed on this disclosure. They are things that could be considered somewhat minor. However, how can I use this loophole to my advantage when my realtor (dual agent) and attorney are not speaking up as much as I would like them to??

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Alison, it seems you are represented by the same agent or firm as seller (dual disclosed) If the sellers disclosure is misrepresenting the facts, you have a legitimate complaint with the seller and agents involved (if they also knew )
I suspect you could cancel the contract but you should ask an attorney. (perhaps not the one given you by the agent if you feel they too knew)
The real question is if you want the place or not and if you have any damages if you should back out now. (again speak with an attorney)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 17, 2008
First - There is no "loophole"

If the seller misrepresented items on the sellers disclosure, you have every right to address them with the your attorney. When this document is filled out, the seller fills it out to the best of thier ability, the Realtor is not involved. A sellers disclosure is just that, a documentthat asks the homeowner questions regarding the property, your Realtor, dual agent or not is not part of the sellers descision on how they answer these questions.

If there are issues with what the seller has answered, these items should be addressed with your attorney and brought to the attention of the sellers attorney to come to a resolution.

This is not a dual agency problem. At this point it sounds as if you are either under contract or in attorney review, this is the time to address these questions. Your Realtor should be notified of the problems and he/she can address them also, but the determination will come as your attorney address these issues for you to with seller's attorney.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 16, 2008
Typically, it's best to determine if the "things" in question are cosmetic or will they affect the structural integrity of the home. If it's cosmetic in nature then you may not have a lot of latitude to negotiate on those points. If it does affect the structural integrity of the home then you have several options. However, if you feel that the agent, acting in a dual agent capacity, is not representing you to your satisfaction on these issues then you can request that his/her Manager work with you as your representation to resolve these concerns.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 21, 2012
Get an independant Agent who will represent you. At Keller Williams, if a Duel Agent situation arises, we are required to have another Agent in the office represent the Seller. It is just the right thing to do !
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 20, 2012
Sometimes a Seller may not be aware of a specific condition or defect with the house/property. They may have inherited the problem.....not realizing the complete issue. Purchasing your first home is very important and you should feel that you have both an attorney and Realtor who are representing your interests throughout the transaction. If you are not comfortable with the Realtor representing both....you as the Buyer and the Seller than you could ask that his/her Manager step in as your representation at any time during the transaction....especially during the home inspection process. You want to make sure that your concerns are addressed and any/all issues are resolved. Feel free to e-mail with any additional questions that you may have: ccmontgomery@ymail.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 19, 2012
Have a home inspection if you get an accepted offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
I am actually working with an engaged couple at the present time. Both of their names are on the contract and they will both be on the deed so they are both financially responsible. In order to purchase a home you will need to be preapproved by a mortgage company so that is an excellent first step in your home buying process. Coldwell Banker Mortgage representatives are available seven days a week to work with you and once you speak with a representative and provide all necessary information, you will receive your qualifications within 15 to 20 minutes time. You are also free to contact a mortgage representative at any other financial institution for the same type of information.
Feel free to call with any further questions and I will be happy to help or find the answers you may required.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
Not to be redundant but YES this is a process, you must manage the process and the AGENT, ATTORNEY, HOME INSPECTOR work for YOU! Get to your attorney and agent the info you want to convey to the seller and get it done. I agree in part that this is not a DUAL AGENCY issue/ YOU must set the tone. YOU CAN DO IT!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 8, 2009
Hi Alison,

I know this is an old question, but to address the recent answer.. this is not a dual agency issue at all on any level.. You should have had an inspection andthe issues raised to your attorney through inspection. there is nothing that the listing/ dual could have done and dual agency has absolutely no bearing on this issue at all.

You ahve a home inspector and an attorney in your corner aside from the agent. Once a contract is negotiated and something such as this comes up, which is in the sellers disclosure. You need to address it, of course through your relator and your attorney.

The name of the document is a "sellers disclosure"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 7, 2009

This is another reminder of difficulties encountered by the customer when dealing with "dual agency."

Have you had the property inspected? It may be beneficial to bring your concerns to the attention of the inspector for his/her review and response. If these issues are relevent and should be repaired they should be included on the inspection report.

Hoeever, if the issue is a major one, it would be best to have an in depth converstaion with the attorney, who's allegience should be to you.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 7, 2009
Both your agent and your attorney work for YOU! MANAGE the process. If you cannot, ask a friend (male, preferrable) to give the directives that you wish to express to all parties.

All agents in NJ are dual agents and at the beginnning of the process your agent declared her/his affliation through the CIS booklet. You should have been explained the law of agency and signed the back of the booklet (you shold have a copy).
Web Reference: http://www.anneshearman.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 7, 2009
As William explained your dual agent is only working in part for you. You should be speaking to your attorney, if he/she won't speak with you get another attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 16, 2008

First, you must differentiate between "harmless trade puffery" and lies. Once you've gotten that far, you must determine if the lies are deal breakers. Do you really still want the property? Your dual agent is not your agent but the whole office! Yes, your contract is with the office, NOT the agent. They are ALL dual agents. A dual agent can and, indeed should, bring EVERY fact about the property to your attention. The dual agent cannot bring out in the open known incentives and emotional feelings that the two sides wish to keep secret. For example, you are able to afford, let's say $400,000 but offer only $350,000. The $50,000 that you COULD afford can't be disclosed. If the reverse is true, and you are well over your head, this gets into the fraud range, and the agent should tell the other side that his client cannot qualify. The actual fact is the issue here. Same thing with the house condition. If the agent relies on the seller to state the roof condition, he may not KNOW that a roofer has patched and patched for months or years. He's not misrepresenting anything but the seller is.

So, having a good idea of where things stand and a little bit of knowledge of the profit motive and human nature, we get to where you are today. I assume you have a contract. I assume somebody has told you (a knowledgeable someone) that the FACTS are not exactly as presented. What can you do? If still in the inspection phase, ask for remediation of the defects. If beyond that, talk to an attorney who will represent your interest, not to one who is collecting a fee. A good attorney will be able to tell you what you might be able to do. You've probably got a deposit up. While you SHOULD be able to get it back if the deal falls through, ultimately that too is a court decision. (Courts =$$$, yours.) You may wish to walk and attempt to get the deposit back but just walk away may be economically a better deal. On the other hand, the seller is in a poor position to force a closing and if you dispute the whole deal and he doesn't settle, it will cloud any other deal he might make.

The whole thing boils down to money and whether you want the property that you have discovered is different then you thought. The bottom line is that there has not been a meeting of the minds and the deal is voidable, if you can convince a court of that fact. The better approach is to get a meeting of the minds.

If your agent has been unresponsive, call his manager. Quite often, managers are more interested in the firm's public image than the agent's well being and if it would appear the at the agent has missed a fine point or two, the manager may come down hard on your side. Lots of Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 15, 2008
Alison, you can use it to your advantage at a point, when both of you stuck on a price negotiations. After you have gone back and forth and there are a couple of thousand difference, probably would be a good time to point these things out. is your realtor and your attorney are not speaking to each other as much as you would like them to, or to you? You are paing your attorney and he is obligated to speak to you and to guide you every step of the way. As far as your realtor is concerned, if she is a dual agent, she might not be at liberty to speak to you freely; in which case, she should get someone else in her office, possibly her manager to do negotiations either on your behalf, or on a seller's behalf.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 15, 2008
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