Home Buying in 44130>Question Details

Dee, Home Seller in 28546

We are under contract to purchase a home. Upon home inspection, findings require attention in the basement

Asked by Dee, 28546 Thu Jun 18, 2009

regarding a wet crawl space and damp concrete walls w/evidence of water staining on the concrete floors. There is evidence outside the home of past waterproofing efforts but no permits are on file at City Hall for work done. Home inspector feels the work done is no longer serving its intended purpose. Estimates for correction of this problem are approx. 12-15K per home inspector. We have asked for a 10K price reduction to have the work done by us, picking up additional costs involved. Sellers have come back saying they want to get estimates to have the work done. Are we under obligation to go thru w/this purchase if we cannot get the price reduction and pick our own company to do the work?

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I have attended almost all of our inspections over the last 11 years and this cerainly has happened before. On most contracts, after the inspection process is completed, the buyer has one of 3 choices: 1 Accept the home in its "as is" condition(you may have gotten a great price!) and assume any repairs; 2. Have the seller fix any or all items found during the inspection, or negotiate the cost of the repairs; 3. terminate this agreement if the written inspection report identify material latent defects not previously disclosed in writing by the seller and any cooperating real estate broker. In other words, if the water problem was not disclosed on the Residential Property Disclosure, you have the right to terminate this contract, both parties sign a mutual release and both parties move on.

Should you allow the sellers to obain estimates to repair? To be fair and if you really want the house, this would be appropriate and you may want to get your own also. The repairs can be done by excavating on the outside of the home or have the systems that drain the water on the inside of the home(Ohio State Waterproofing, B-Dry to name a few), so the cost to repair will vary. So this too can be negotiated.

Finally, we usually do not change the sale prce to reflect and repairs but usually leave money in escrow to do this. Or once agreed upon, to avoid all the mess of the repairs, have them complete this before title transfer and have a Walk-through to reinspect this. And include the permits from the city of said repairs.

Alas, there is no easy answer and this in another reason you need a seasoned real esate agent to help you with problems such as this. Septic systems are similar to this, but that 's another story.

Best of Luck,
David
The Toth Team
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 20, 2009
Dee,

Sit down with your agent and review the section of the contract that refers to the inspections, but I'd ask a few questions:

1). Did the home owner state that they did, in fact, have the basement/crawl space waterproofed?
2). If so, is there a warranty on it?

Some people are very handy and take on tasks like waterproofing on their own to save on costs and there's a possibility that they didn't pull a permit to do the work. That's not the way it should be done, but people do it anyway.

Keep in mind that your home inspector is not a waterproofing specialist (correct me if I'm wrong)! The sellers have a reasonable request by wanting to obtain written estimates by qualified waterproofing specialists. They are very likely not going to reduce the purchase price you all agreed to based on the findings of the home inspector as it's money out of pocket for them. These estimates are usually free and I'd recommend that both you and the seller independantly select at least two for comparative purposes.

You've already agreed to a purchase price, spent money on the inspection and likely the apprasial as well. While you may have "an out", the sellers may argue that your request is unreasonable (given that you're going off of what the inspector says, not a specialist) and they may want to retain your earnest money as a result if you choose not to allow them to obtain estimates.

My advice would be, if you love the house, to be reasonable and do your due diligence to find out what's really going on there. Only a specialist can clairfy the situation for you, so go to one!

I hope this is helpful!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 18, 2009
After a home inspection if you find something like this you can walk away. The seller may or may not agree to reduce the price but you are also allowed to go back into negotiations and if the issues is not resolved you can walk away and receive any earnest money or money held for the property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 18, 2009
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