Home Buying in 07626>Question Details

dmsimpsonian, Home Buyer in Boulder, CO

Is there a conflict of interest issue if the seller is a "licensed contractor" and carries out the inspection objections himself?

Asked by dmsimpsonian, Boulder, CO Thu Nov 8, 2012

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Laura Giannotta’s answer
Get a qualified fireplace inspection or contact the municipality and find out what they would require for installation of a new gas fireplace and the inspections of the new installation.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2012
ah... as I was about to post but Ron Thomas posted.

There is no conflict with a licensed contractor doing the work on his own home, a licensed contractor is a licensed contractor.

But, if you are going to use this to negotiate a reduced price.. that is different. A lot of people use the inspection to further "shake down" a price from the seller and never do the repairs. Most "exclusive buyer agents" try to use this as a tactic to get a lower price for house and use it as a selling point.. typically use home inspectors that list every minor detail to fluff up the inspection report. But, if the contract reads that the seller has right to remediate the issues.. then the seller has the right to remediate the issues using a licensed contractor, that could be the homeowner/licensed contractor.

My opinion from experience and what I have seen.

Just had a deal go south on a home that had no issues and was "as-is"... but the buyer/ exclusive buyer agent wanted $25,500 for future renovations of windows and new Heating and AC within 10 years becasue those items in the house were 4 years old!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2012
I had the same happen to me ( future renovation ) just told purchasers to find another home as they wanted us to replace items that we're working perfectly because they might fail in the future plus also wanted sellers to perform additional inspections at sellers expense
Flag Sat Dec 7, 2013
No, there should not be any issues.

A licensed contractor is a licensed contractor. As long the work is done up to spec's what does it matter?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2012
Thanks everyone for the responses. My main concern is the work that the seller/contractor has done on the gas fireplace. In our objection letter (which has been signed by both parties) We asked that:

"the Seller shall at seller’s expense provide proof that gas fireplace is up to code and ensure it is in working order, or shall take necessary steps to bring the fireplace up to code and ensure it is in working order."

I understand that the seller is a licensed contractor, but this doesn't necessarily mean he knows all the codes on gas fireplaces. For all I know, it could be working but in complete violation of local code, and therefore be a fire/safety hazard. This is my main concern with him doing the work.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2012
I would allow him to do the repairs, and then get the home inspector in to see that the repairs are up to code, and completed as promised.

To say there is a conflict of interest is to say all contractors are dishonest...request and verify as you would with anything.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2012
Well looks like a legal issue but the town does the final inspection and if things are not done properly they will not pass the CO inspection and most sellers fix their own house even without being a contractor I would think a licensed contractor at least is familiar with construction. This happens all the time with new construction, a seller/contractor builds a house and then sells it. The question does not specify if this a multi unit dwellling and in that case permits may have to be pulled for certain types of jobs. In my opinion there should not be a problem with that as long as he follows the city codes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2012
There is a conflict; and it has nothing to do with the honesty or integrity of the Contractor/Inspector:
The problem is that the person who PAYS for the Inspection, OWNES the Inspections; they are to be used by the BUYER to negotiate further and to protect the Buyer from buying a lemon.
The information contained in the Inspections are proprietary and could diminish their negotiating position.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2012
Traditionally, the seller must agree to requested repairs from the buyer-and then provide evidence that those agreed on repairs have been completed in a workmanlike manner. The buyer does not have the right to mandate who does those repairs, so it is perfectly acceptable for the homeowner to do the work themselves. If the seller is a licensed contractor, then the buyer will have recourse after close of escrow if something was not done correctly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2012
The key here is disclosure. To be safe and fair, make sure all parties have knowledge of and agree to the seller/contractor carrying out the repairs. Also be sure that the seller/contractor accepts the responsibility that will come with acting as contractor on his/her own home making repairs on behalf of the buyer, especially if there are issues with those repairs after closing.

If you do, be as specific as possible and get it all in writing and, of course, if the seller is not licensed to do a specific task, such as electrical or plumbing, that those repairs are left to a licensed professional regardless of the seller's ability to do those repairs.

Best of luck,

Barbara L Smith ABR, GRI, SFR
Weichert Realtors
Direct: 609-980-7593
*5 Star Professional*
Phila Mag, Sept. 2012
Web Reference: http://BarbSellsSJ.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2012
It isn’t a conflict, it is an alignment, he has a vested interest in making sure the repairs are done correctly, if you are asking about repairs.

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
Web Reference: http://jamessimms.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2012
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