Home Selling in 92653>Question Details

Davidthesell…, Home Seller in 92653

Buyers agent/buyer called Building and Safety inspector per section 10a this is a serious no no. Does this entitle me to terminate due to breach?

Asked by Davidtheseller, 92653 Mon Mar 14, 2011

The buyers agent's pest inspector (her brother in-law) and contractor (same) claimed to have called a building/safety inspector for a pre-alteration on section 1 repairs (pest inspection) on a parking deck. This was done 4 hrs after we sent the agent a denial to do the railing which that had requested to be done [as part of a request] was then used in attempt to negotiate an additional $3,200 to bring the railing up to code. This is a direct violation of section 10a of the RE contract which is to protect the seller from such activity. What action should/could I take - terminate the contract? sue the buyers agent for the added cost? I contacted 2 other building inspectors how both said it's very unlikely the railings would need to be brought up to code while doing standard maintenance (no change in architecture, same material)

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Is this a CO-OP in Laguna Woods? Discount the sales price, sell it, be done with it, ASAP. If you fix it, the buyer will never be satisfied. Was it a good way to approach the situation? NO. Is it going to get resolved without being corrected or discounted? NO.

Discount it, and you will pay slightly smaller costs to close.

Be done with it and move on.

Thom Colby
Broker / Owner & Certified HAFA Specialist
Thom Colby Properties
Newport Beach, CA
Moving Lives Forward (TM)
We NEVER DOUBLE-END Transactions in our Brokerage. IN MY OPINION, there is NO benefit to the Seller or Buyer and only benefits the Agent. Also, NEVER use your RE Agent / Broker as your Lender or vice versa. Also, be careful when using Real Estate Broker-owned Escrow and Title Companies - they can be loads of trouble.
888-391-5245 Direct Cell
THOM@THOMCOLBY.COM
DRE# 01398570
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 14, 2011
Hi David,
Wow that is a good question! I re-read the section you are talking about, and there is an exception at the end of the sentence. I do not know clearly what that would be! Did you disclose to the buyer that the railing is not to code? Our contrcts also state that you have no knowledge of any code violations. I will check this out for my own info as I think you raise an interesting question. It is unclear if there was any violaton. Also remember that this contract is between you and the buyer only. It sounds like the buyers agents brother-in-law sent the city inspector over. Are you sure the buyer had knowledge of this? Breach of contract must be done by one of the parties to the contract not either of the agents.
Sounds like the real issue is the $3,200. Are you prepared to take the house back for $3,200? Maybe there is some compromise you can come to with the buyer. Maybe you have gone as far as you can, I don't know.
What I do know is that if you look at this as an attack on you, no one will benifit. Step back and look at it for what it is and think of a solution.
Good luck to you,
Conie Bramble
Prudential CA Realty
714-337-8718
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 14, 2011
Response: Their was nothing specific disclosed on the SPQ or other disclosures regarding section 1 items found during the pest inspection as they were not previously known - they were specific to a parking deck, not the house itself. The buyers agent then began to use this as a negotiation tactic (post contract via addendum). As part of the work the buyer/agent asked for additional work that was outside section 1 (new railings). When the buyers agent was advised that nothing extra would be done, the next day a letter showed up saying a pre-alteration inspection by the county building inspector occurred the prior day (same day the buyers agent was notified) and that during the "on-site" inspection the building inspector determined that the railings would need to be brought up to code during the section 1 work (replacing some decking and a couple railing posts). So besides the 10A issue of calling/causing a building inspector to somehow show up, the buyers agent somehow got a building inspector on-site by end of day... amazing as that sounds. So you see this has many legs that includes family relationships (home inspector/contractor) and a ridicules demand by the buyers agent that I need to use her contractor of choice. I have sent a detailed letter to the buyer via the buyers agent that outlines the unusual activities/requests during this transaction and the specific areas within the contract that I felt were in question including 10A and 15 (sellers right to do own repair/use contractor of choice) and requested a signed acknowledgement by the buyer (transparency). A response presumably written by the buyer was sent back that looked curiously like other letters written/sent by the buyers agent - including a reference again to the buyers agents preferred contractor to complete the work, like the buyer would care who I use. I have yet to see a counter signed acknowledgement from my letter to the buyer and do not believe the buyer actually has seen them. I do have their email address from one of the documents sent by the buyers agent. I have given consideration to send it directly to them cc'ing their agent.

Since the likelihood of anyone getting a building inspector on-site in less than 3 hours (agent was notified a 12:40pm) there are only 3 possibilities 1) The agent didn't speak to anyone 2) she call the building inspector but a visit did not occur 3) the unlikely case that a on-site actually occurred [will be validated on Wednesday] given a 3 hour windows. I called this morning and have an appointment for a pre-alteration inspection setup for Wednesday. So for 1 and 2, the agent would have outright lied [specifically indicated on-site]. In 2 section 10A and lied, and 3 section 10A comes into play.

This is an very small transaction (120k) to have all of this headache - I am still moving forward on my part of the contract but I have to say so far this seems highly irregular. But it is interesting..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 14, 2011
David -

Did you disclose this issue on the TDS, SPQ, or SSD? Did you know about it?

Thom Colby
Broker
Newport Beach CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 14, 2011
In lieu of a no reply - that I could see.. I'll post it as a answer.

Yes buyers can and are invited to bring inspections to the table (pest/home)

As it pertains to section 10A from the standard CA RE purchase contract: “Without the sellers prior consent, Buyer shall neither make nor cause to be made: .. (ii) inspections by any government building or zoning inspector or government employee”

This was put in to help protect the seller from a agent/buyer from operating in bad faith during and after a sale. Even if the buyer/agent was ignorant and they made the request which inadvertently "caused". It still crosses the line.

The property is up to code (when it was built). The building inspector was either a) called for advice, b) a pre-alteration visit occurred [validating on Wednesday] or c) the agent blatantly lied in hopes of pushing the seller (me) into negotiating another 3k.

The good news is the Buyers agent, which I do not believe is working with full transparency with her client, sent and signed the letter noting the inspection along with the addendum with the negotiation points. I am currently moving forward with the transaction - but I am just as good with canceling it as well. And yes I have a sellers agent, no they cannot provide legal advice. My agents broker has been speaking with the buyers broker questioning the ethical behavior of this transaction. My questions are more on the legal side of things to with respect to the contract and when it's considered breached.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 14, 2011
David has given you good advice...or consult the borkers of the agents/.or an attorney. Your agent and the buyers agent need to communicate..
Web Reference: http://www.homesoncells.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 14, 2011
David - are you being represented by an agent? If so, it would be an ethics violation for a Realtor to give advice while a party is under contract with another agent.

Contact your current agent. If not represented, there will be an array of answers here.

Bob
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 14, 2011
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