Home Buying in 02492>Question Details

FirstTimeBuy…, Home Buyer in Iowa

Seller did not fix agreed upon repairs. Can I withdraw from purchase?

Asked by FirstTimeBuyer, Iowa Tue Dec 18, 2012

Okay I am a first time homebuyer and I have been dealing with a private seller. So I put an offer on a house that was accepted and after the home inspection I had my attorney draw up a list of repairs that needed to be completed by the seller prior to closing. During the final walkthrough, the week of closing we walked through the house and half of the items on the list were not repaired and the seller could not provide any type of invoices or receipts that the repairs were made. At this point I feel like I was trying to be scammed by this seller and I was to withdraw my offer and get the $1,000 earnest money I put down on the house. My question is, can I do this or do I have to buy the house even though the repairs are not made?

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I would say yes but I'm not an attorney. You should be consulting one now if you dont have one.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
If the repairs were part of the P&S, the seller is obligated as a condition of the deed transfer to fix the agreed items. If they don't meet the conditions of the P&S, you can walk away from the deal with your deposit. Now, if they fixed them and you are not satisfied with the repairs, that is a separate issue which would need to be resolved between the parties.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
Wasn't supposed to be conducting repairs**
Flag Tue Dec 18, 2012
The repairs were just blatently not made. I had a couple contractors go through the house with me when I was conducting the final walkthrough and they said there was no attempts at even trying to do the repairs. The seller got mad and confrontational to me when I brought in contractors to inspect the repairs and told me I was supposed to be conducting inspections. I am a naive first time homebuyer though so I just felt like he thought I would overlook the lack of repairs and sign the papers.
Flag Tue Dec 18, 2012
Your Attorney is the best adviser
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
The absolute best person to answer your question is your Attorney. It all depends on how the contract for the repair was written...

I hope you can work this out and end up with the home of your dreams.

Happy Holidays!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
We always suggest to those doing FSBO you should still hire a buyer broker, it is 199+% worth it even if you have to pay them a small sum on the side to guide you through the process. It makes such a huge difference when determining value and when it comes to making decisions that will protect your interests (like the example you are posting here)

Your attorney should be able to answer this question no problem. There should be language in one of your contracts that allows you some recourse should the seller not do what was agreed upon.

Good luck!

Massachusetts Premier Buyer Brokerage
Web Reference: http://territory.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
And you are asking your question here instead of to your attorney because ....?

I would contact a legal professional for help with this answer.
Preferably the one you have already paid.

(Please note: when you choose an answer as a Best Answer, or at least give a thumbs up, it helps those who answer questions here.)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 28, 2012
Not sure what the laws are in Iowa. In Massachusetts most buyers and sellers have items from the inspection addressed in the Purchase and Sales Agreement. You say your attorney drew up a separate agreement to address the repairs, check with your attorney to see what recourse you have if the repairs are not complete by the day of the closing.

If you feel the seller is not performing as agreed, you may want to request a credit to make the repairs yourself. Having the repairs made by contractors you hire will give you the confidence the repairs were made correctly.

Good Luck and let us know how things go.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
Since you are working with an attorney already, you should talk to this legal expert and get a definitive answer. The lawyer who wrote the agreement involving repairs will offer the best advice about your alternatives.

But, as a practical matter, you should take a step back, put your emotions aside for a minute, and think your next move through. If you decide you still want the dwelling and learn the seller was financially unable to fix everything you requested, then it still may be possible to salvage the deal by re-working the agreement. For example, you might negotiate an arrangement under which money for repairs is escrowed at closing so you can make repairs afterwards.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
As others have said, the best person to ask this question of is your attorney. Advice on the internet typically is free and usually worth every penny if you know what I mean.

What you can and can't do in this situation will be determined by what was written in your contract. If it turns out you can withdraw from the transaction, you still need to determine if this is the wisest course of action.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
Think about the repairs that have not been done. Even if the seller does them, will they be done to your satisfaction? Will you be better off having a larger price reduction and doing them yourself, or paying to have someone do the them the way you want? If you need referrals for electricians, painters, plumbers, etc., just write to me.
Most important, review everything with your attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
Step back and take a moment to think this thru. Is this the house you want? What is the dollar cost of the improvements and items to be fixed come to? Do you want to lose the house over that amount? On your closing date will you be homeless?

That said, if it is in the p&s the seller is obligated to fix the items and you are correct in asking for paid invoices. Tyoically if they are not fixed the parties can agree at closing to hold back the amount plus 1/3 to remedy the items. If you don't want to or your attorney suggest not to, or your lender won't lend on (typical if items in p&s are not corrected) then the closing may have to be delayed. Again depending on the language in your p&s most attorney's add a clause in that if you can't close because of delay's by the seller and it adverserly effects your rate or mortgage then you have the option to get out of the transaction.

All these are questions for your attorney who can best guide you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
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