Home Buying in 32751>Question Details

1sttimebuyer, Home Buyer in Orlando, FL

Not sure how to proceed on renegotiating price on an accepted offer.

Asked by 1sttimebuyer, Orlando, FL Sun Oct 6, 2013

I recently had an offer accepted on a home in the Orlando area. The inspection turned up some issues with an addition done two owners ago that was never permitted and is not up to code. This additional square footage is somehow on the county records despite that fact.

I'm not sure if the present owner is even aware of this. Given the fact that I have already negotiated the price down considerably I'm a bit unsure of how to proceed with the issue. I'm sensitive to the fact that this may be some very bad unexpected news for the current owner, but I don't want to get stuck in a sticky situation with my first home purchase.

Does anyone have suggestions for how I should proceed?

Help the community by answering this question:


You have gotten some useful advice below, and 1 piece of advice I think isn't very useful.

There is no need, imo, no need to simply walk away, and call the home a "money pit", without pursuing what might be involved in correcting the issues you identified.

Ad addition was made without a permit that may have items not up to code.

Someone who is not an agent (ie: a mortgage rep pushing his services) may not understand that we, as realtors, deal with all kinds of unexpected issues in selling homes - especially inspection issues..........part, if not much, of our job involves coming up with solutions - not just telling people to walk away and find a new house!

I had a closing this past year with similar problems.
There were a number of issues inside and out (around and including the pool) either with open permits or items not up to code.
Many of the problems dated back to previous owners.
The seller was informed.
He called in the town inspectors (after he had called the building department) who identified what specifically needed to be done............and.......... he did what he needed to do to bring everything up to code.!

He really had few choices as..........he was now aware of deficiencies in the home, and would have to DISCLOSE them to any future buyer, so he chose to deal with them then, and keep his current buyer in place.

He had the work done.............the various inspectors came back...reinspected, and issued the permits.
Problems solved.

We closed and everyone was happy.

Once again, - IF you have an agent, please let him or her advise you.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 7, 2013
Interesting that no one so far has suggested that you reread the purchase contract to see what your contractual remedies are. They will be significantly different depending on which standard Florida form you used - the As-Is Contract or the "normal" contract with repairs in it. (I put "normal" in quotes because most offers these days use the As-Is.)

If you use the As-Is contract, then simple, you send a rejection of the Inspection notice and add a without prejudice offer saying what you would be willing to accept. I had this exact same issue come up this year. The list agent and the seller were aware of an unpermitted garage conversion. When my buyer found out, he simply said, the inspection is rejected, but we will proceed if you lower the price $20,000. They did. Do not for one second assume that your seller does not know about the unpermitted work.

If you used the with repair contract, then I agree you should discuss your next step with your agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 7, 2013
I would give your agent a call. He/she will know how to proceed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 7, 2013
Thank you for the "best answer"!

I am glad you found my advice useful.........I certainly wish you all the best, and please let us know how everything turns out!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 7, 2013
I hope you are working with a realtor. And if you are, direct all your questions and concerns to him/her. That is the professional whom you should discussing this matter with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 7, 2013
First things first.....It sounds like you have all ready done some investigation on your own on this. I would recommend taking this one step further and inquire about the specific responsibilities you might be responsible for moving forward. There's not much sense in holding the seller responsible for something that might be a non-issue.

The zoning department should be able to provide you with advice on this matter. If you value the transaction and keeping it together, get the facts before going to the seller and making additional requests.

Finding out what, if anything you might be responsible for would be a good place to begin.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 7, 2013
1st Time,
There are two issues to deal with.
One is purely adminstrative and can be corrected in a few days.
The second, often created by inspectors gone goofy, will require you to ask yourself, "Are you feeling lucky?"
Your agent, along with the collaboration of the listing agent can make these things dissppear.
Time for a meet up with your agent and get the process laid out. The only thing unknown and presents the greatest risk to everyone is your indecisiveness.
Trolling for opinions from strangers on the internet is refelctive is that uncertainty. Hopefully, the seller realizes this also and won't allow themselves to be jerked around.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 7, 2013
well, I'd advise you as Mack did, but................. if you don't have an agent guiding you...........I'd first inform the sellers about this situation (it is what it is, and if you remain calm - they will, too, as clearly you want the house)...........then get some estimates to see what it will cost to bring these items up to code........you might also call the building department and ask them for guidance in regard to making repairs and having a final inspection.

The good news is - the square footage reflects the addition...........so the taxes shouldn't change/increase.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 6, 2013

What is your real estate agent suggesting you do?

Are you buying a home that's "for sale by owner"?

Are you buying a home that is represented by an agent for the seller, and you had them write up the offer for you?

There are a few different outcomes of purchasing a home that has work done that was not permitted and is not up to code. The city, county, or other governing entity can fine you, or tell you it must be taken down and redone.

Let the seller know what turned up during the inspection and you expect them to remedy the situation or lower the price by the amount of work needed to get the home up to code. Do this quickly as the contract you signed probably has a time limit for making such a claim.

I hope all turns out well for you.

Nadine Mauro
Highlight Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 6, 2013
I would ask my agent for guidance in this situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 6, 2013
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