Best of Luck,
Century 21 Tenace
Approach them in good faith and ask them to go through the house again, immediately or as close to it as possible, to find anything they think should have been in working order at closing, including the leaky faucet. Ask them to show that it's not working to you or to an impartial third party. Have them get estimates or print out prices for parts and have them itemize the repairs with the total costs for each.
Sit down with them within the week and go over the list. If you think the repair fees are too expensive, make a supported (researched) counter offer, have Google be your mediator, or just have a speaker phone handy so you can call a plumber or electrician to get a better idea of actual costs. Hash it out until you're done; you both want this over with. If they're convinced you want them to be happy with the house (and that's the reason for you're dragging them through this process) they'll very likely be reasonable.
You should both sign a document saying that all repair costs from now forward are up to the buyer. Pay them for the repairs on the list.
Done. In writing. No room for questions.
Send them a Christmas card.
I personally would just pay for the new faucet. How much are they asking you for? Arbitration is costly and I'm pretty sure an arbitrator would rule in favor of the buyer.
I always ask my sellers to over disclose! Its better to cover your ASSets.
They certainly could contact you a month from now, or a year from now, and numerous times pertaining to numerous "issues". As time goes by, lines #217-219 become less of an issue since your only obligation was to have things in good working order "at the time of closing".
If down the road, it's discovered that an outlet is "dead", a pipe is leaking, the furnace fan doesn't work, the water heater leaks, etc. etc. the buyer's ability to claim that "it was like that right after closing" will become a weakening argument as time passes.
However, if something does come up down the road, that is a material fact that wasn't disclosed, that affects the buyers use or enjoyment of the property...then...it's an issue that will need to be addressed at that time. If a leaky faucet is all you failed to disclose, then, you should simply not worry and sleep well.
The more important issue, which isn't as "debatable", is found on lines #217-219 on page #6 of the purchase agreement. That's the part where you (the seller) agreed that the plumbing (and other things), would be in good working order at the time of closing. A leaky faucet would be plumbing that is not in good working order.
The fact that the buyers conducted an inspection is merely something they did, at their expense, for their benefit. If something was overlooked, it doesn't change anything agreed to in the purchase agreement...which brings us back your obligation in lines #217-219 again.
I highly recommend paying for the faucet to be fixed. Smile and be very happy they are not suing you. This will shut them up quickly and you are truly doing the right thing, because this should have been fixed prior to closing anyway.
That said, you have no real obligation under the terms of the purchase agreement to fix or repair issues after the fact. Keep in mind that the seller could attempt to pursue you for nondisclosure, but my guess is that would be unlikely due to the cost involved and the relative cost to repaid the faucet.
You might consider fixing the faucet as a gesture of good will, but I would only do so if they were to sign something saying that they have no future claim for this issue on a nondisclosure basis.
Coldwell Banker Burnet
licensed MN Real Estate Broker
- Did you agree to do work that was not completed?
- Were you honest & complete in your disclosure about the property condtion?
- Did damage occur as a result of your move?
- Was there an undocumented discussion of work to be completed?
Any of these might expose you to liability after the sale. Your agent should continue to be your touch point through the attempts to reach a "gentlemen's agreement".
If you cannot reach such an agreement, you might end up in arbitration or court, depending on what means of problem resolution you agreed to at the time of sale. Arbitration can occur quite quickly (approximately 6 months). It's binding, but you do have a chance to represent your side with evidence & even a lawyer. If you end up in court, court & legal costs alone may exceed the value of the issue. Court will usually take a minimum of 10-12 months. Hope this clarifies the situation.