Home Buying in Monrovia>Question Details

Sherbs, Home Buyer in Los Angeles County, CA

What is reasonable and fair to ask the seller for when so many things are wrong with the house?

Asked by Sherbs, Los Angeles County, CA Wed Oct 14, 2009

We are in escrow on the a house that we thought was a cosmetic fixer (smoke smells in the house, the very old kitchen and bathrooms, stained carpeting, defective retaining wall in front yard, popcorn ceilings, etc). Unfortunately, we found out via inspection that we are getting more than we bargained for:

~rotting/warped sub floor in the kitchen and service porch
~major floor damage in the bathroom -leaky toilet (under tile)
~open wall under the kitchen sink and bedroom
~general electrical problems (old)
~old wood shingled roof needs replaced
~galvanized plumbing literally going to blow any second

So the price on the house was on the lower end for the area, and we offered 25k over asking price, before we knew about all the problems with it. What is our best course of action at this point? What do you think is fair? Renegotiating price? Asking for certain repairs? Nothing? BTW, we still don't have sellers disclosures.

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Answers

7
Joe Nernberg’s answer
Most homes are already discounted. If you cancel this transaction, you will find a newer/better house for MORE money. You didn't know there was a "old wood shingled roof" when you made the offer? If this is your first purchase and you are not mecanicaaly-inclined - please consider buying a condo.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 16, 2009
Knowing Monrovia like the back of my hand, it would be very important to know the location and the amount you are paying. If you are getting a 3 + 1 in N. Monrovia for $325,000. Then by all means don't ask for a thing. Everything depends on the stats. Nobody can tell you what to do without more information!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 15, 2009
Let’s be clear on one thing. Based on your information, the house is not just a "cosmetic fixer," it needs to be rehabbed. The defects that the inspection has uncovered do not guarantee that more problems will not surface. Inspectors do not undertake invasive inspections.

You should discuss this with your agent after you have an opportunity to get estimates from a licensed general contractor and consider cancelling the purchase in case your contingencies have not been removed.

Bob Khalsa
Broker
United America Realty
213-926-5847
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 14, 2009
Well in this case it is very good that you have choosen to have a home inspection which brought these items to your attention. Also there are time frames that you and your REALTOR have to be satified with the condition of the property and of course you can go back to the seller and re negotiate the price or repairs to be completed. I would first have your agent contac the listing agent and see if the seller is aware and wouldnt mind repairing the items since you have offered over asking. If that is not a option then I would call out a licensed contractor to give you estimates on what the cost of total repairs would be and then ask for the credit to cover the items and show the listing agent the estimate from the contractor. That would mean you would either change the purchase price or the seller may choose to have the work done themselves. You are still in a great position as long as you have not removed those contingencies before having the inspection completed. I suggest you get back with your agent and work out some terms that best fit your needs and also think about what the seller may or may not want to do. Sometimes being super picky this can also back fire. Dont be ticky tack on everything just be reasonable and if they are a few small items you can repair yourself do it and that will show the seller you are not trying to take advantage of them. Good Luck!

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 14, 2009
Dear Sherbs,
Since you purchased a "fixer-upper" you should have been able to purchase that home at a very nice discount. I'm hoping that is the case for you. I also am hoping you have a buyer agent..who would be worth their weight in GOLD for you right now.
Normally a seller will discount a house, and that discount is supposed to cover whatever work is needed on the property. When an inspection reveals unusual additional expenses, this expense is normally taken care of in negotiations in the contingency period..... BEFORE escrow,and not during or after!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 14, 2009
You signed a Purchase Agreement?
My limited advice would be to try to get your leverage back in the sale.
I would look at the purchase agreement and see if in the agreement the terms of the sale are stated “As Is” or the condition that you first assumed the property was in. If it is “As Is” see if there are any special conditions or terms that apply to “As Is” in the Purchase Agreement or your Escrow Documents.
You may now write all parties and state that you have reconsidered the purchase price based on the 25K dollars extra as not being a fair market rate and at the time of the agreement this was not clear to you.
See what they say. If at this point any party says, “You have an agreement.”
State that you would like this to be reconsidered minus the $25K.
Keep in mind the fair asking price was made lower to be fair based on the state of the property.!
Of course they will say, “No.”
Then state that the seller and the appraisal had misrepresented the term “As Is” in the condition of the property.
Now if the terms of your contracts do not state “As Is” and only the condition of the property. Do the same thing based on the Fair Market Value not yet mentioning the actual condition until they respond to your request. Then say the same thing as a above, "They miss represented the condition of the property at the time of the agreement."
It is, “As Is Stated.”
Which in your case was not the case. Others may say there is nothing you can do there is always something you can do so give this a try if you like.
I have also not represented that you follow this advice, as I have not reviewed the actual documents so this is just a suggestion in a public forum for review and not a professional consulted opinion in the matter.

Liz Steele
Financial Specialist
Hawthorne Capital Corp.
Phone: (212) 231-0062 Ext. 5183
Cell: (347) 819-5682
Email: reduce300k@yahoo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 14, 2009
I honestly think you should be asking your agent these questions. There are to many missing details to give you a truly informed answer. I would proceed with caution if you are not getting honest, timely advise.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 14, 2009
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