Home Selling in Portland>Question Details

Dana, Home Seller in Portland, OR

Can a Buyer sue a Seller for not accepting/making lender required repairs to a property being sold as is?

Asked by Dana, Portland, OR Sat Aug 20, 2011

We have an estate house on the OR coast which we have on the market- we have two offers, the first of which is threatening to file a lien against the property unless we allow them to make their lender required repairs prior to closing. The heirs are all very uncomfortable with allowing the Buyer to modify the only asset of the estate but don't want to be misstepping here.

Help the community by answering this question:


Real estate questions should be answered by real estate agents.

Legal questions should be answered by lawyers.

Always go to the correct source to protect yourself and your interests. Conversations regarding a lien or lawsuit should be managed by a legal representative. Real estate agents do not practice law.

Ana Barlow, Coldwell Banker Preferred, Philadelphia

2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 21, 2011
Dana, you need to speak to an attorney.

The way I read your question, you have offers, not a contract. Hopefully, you don't have a contract with two buyers!

The terms of your contract will determine what rights the buyers have, but my guess is that they have a financing contingency, and their lender is requiring work orders to be completed in order for them to get the loan. In that case, you can likely tell them to get lost and take their earnest money check with them, and find a buyer who can do a rehab loan or figure out another way to buy it.

However. Do not read these answers and go back to your buyer as if you have the answer. The terms of the contract will dictate what your obligations and rights are.

All the best,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 21, 2011
Hi, It's best to consult with your real estate attorney as the language in your sales contract will dictate your options.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 21, 2011
Hey, did you get that resolved??

My question is, if this is an estate where are the legal representatives of the estate? Why ask a real estate agent when it seems there already should be an attorney involved. If there are two offers, then there is no mutual acceptance on one. And I don't even understand how anyone can threaten to file a lien against a property they're only offering on. The question and entire situation doesn't even make any sense to me.

Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
EBA Portland, LLC
Exclusive Buyer Agency since 1999
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
This is simplier that one might think.
What does the contract for sale say?
Was there a clause that required the Seller to address the Lender's Concerns?

Beyond all that, is this a good Buyer?
Do you want to loose them and have the property out there on the market for a few more months?
What about splitting the differance?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 19, 2012
Speak with your closing attorney, they should be able to answer this for you.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 17, 2012
Dana it seems like you probably have the answer to your question but if you havent spoken with an attorney that pratices in your area then I would certainly recommend that you do before you agree to anything I am certain that if you dont have a relationship with someone in your area your agent should be able to put you in touch with a knowledgeable attorney. Either way it souds like the problem is a good one to have hopefully with mutliple offers you will be moving to close the transaction soon .

Good Luck!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 17, 2012
The heirs should be very uncomfortable. If the contractor does not do a satifactory job, who is responsible??

If a contractor is injured on the property, who is responsible??

A buyer cannot force a seller to make repairs unless the seller agreed, just that simple.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 15, 2012
Your agent should be assisting you with reviewing offers. Laws vary by state, and real estate agents can only advise in their area of licensing, which is real estate. Law and Taxes are left to those entities.

In a general comment, if work is required prior to close of escrow there are ways to handle that and it is in the language of the contract. You will want to make sure that you are protected for errors or liens. Insurance & contractor license by the contractors, hold harmless agreements, and who pays for the repairs if the buyer fails to close, are some of the red flags.

Go back to your agent and seek the legal advice should the situation warrant.

All the best to you.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 12, 2012
Dana, I just had this problem and the roof was the issue and the bank said put a roof on to close along with some small few hundred dollar issues. We told the buyer that we were not doing any repairs for financing and they said the bank is requiring them and we said you agreed to no repairs in our counter offer. The buyer needed to close in a week or lose the house and get his money back so he paid cash and they did not know we had higher cash offer because in Oregon the transaction is dead if the property does not close on the stated time, there is no extension unless both parties agree.
Tom Inglesby, Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
Dana you are walking a fine line if you do not allow the repairs. I am going to assume that the buyers are using a FHA loan to purchase the home. If that is the case any FHA loan in the next 6 months is going to show those repairs as a preclosing condition.

In my opinion and not legal advise----The buyers could come after you for refusing to work in good faith and tie up the property until a court case is settled. What would happen if you did the repairs and the buyer paid for them?

I have been in similar circumstances with clients before and we had a work party where both sides and their Realtors® showed up at the home to work on lender preclosing conditions just to get the sale done.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 21, 2011
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