Home Buying in Mobile>Question Details

Felecia Mills, Home Buyer in Mobile, AL

I recently signed a contract on a house. The MLS listing stated that the house had a new roof, which is one

Asked by Felecia Mills, Mobile, AL Thu Jan 1, 2009

of the things that helped sell me on the house. At the inspection yesterday, the first thing the inspector said was you're going to need a new roof. Apparently the roof is nearly 20 years old, has rusted flashing, and been badly patched in several areas. Is this legal? The seller is a real estate agent/investor/home restorer. There's no way he can say he didn't know. Do I have any kind of recourse? The appraisal has not yet been done. I did walk through the house prior to the contract, but didn't think I needed to bring a ladder to walk the roof. Thanks for any advice!

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Like Jen bowman says, It sounds like you are in the due diligence period? Talk to your attorney and let him or her know about this problem, the other thing, who is your buyer agent? he should let you know what to do in this situatuion?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 1, 2009
If the purchase is contingent on a home inspection satisfactory to you, you do not have to go through with the contract. The inspection revealed an unacceptable condition (roof), so you can walk away from the contract and have any earnest money returned to you (if there was earnest money deposited). If the seller has never lived in the property, it would be difficult to pursue legally. Alabama is a "buyer beware" state. This is the reason a home inspection is always recommended. I you strongly feel you were deceived, call the Alabama Real Estate Commission and file a complaint.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 2, 2009
shows that the listing agent was lazy! probably cloned the listing information from the previous listing 15 yrs ago
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 1, 2009
You really have three options here:

1. Continue with the purchase as-is, with the same purchase price and accepting the current condition;

2. Renegotiate with the seller, stating that their false statement led you to offer a certain price. Have the seller either reduce the price, repair/replace the roof, or provide you with an allowance to repair/replace the roof;

3. Walk away and purchase another house instead.

If the seller was truly deceptive in stating that the house had a new roof rather than making a mistake (assuming this person has a lot of properties listed), then you could consider filing a claim for false representation. However, I'm not sure what you'd gain from this other than a lot of hours lost in preparing the complaint. Real estate boards won't take any action without sufficient proof that the statement was intentionally false and/or misleading.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 1, 2009
An unsatisfasctory inspection should be sufficient grounds for terminating the contract. Another avenue would be to, in your inspection response,request the seller to replace the roof. However,I think a major issue here is that the seller/agent has caused you to pay for an inspection,while knowing that it would be unsatisfactory. Jerome has given you good advice in recommending that you file a complaint w. the Real Estate board. This agent needsto be disciplined for his shoddy behavior. The majority of us are ethical and honest. People like your seller give us all a bad name.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 1, 2009
Felecia,Seems you didnt have a realtor representing you,other than the listing agent,who doesnt sound like they are looking out for you.If you did the inspection yesterday,if you look on the contract,for the inspection period etc...it should say you have so many days for the insp and so many days to request remedy.So either tell them to deduct roof estimate or put new on.If your out of the timeframe?you can call the Board Of Realtors(depending on what state your in)enter a complaint,make sure you get or save that MLS listing remark.Otherwise get a realtor to work with and find another house.

Regards;

TJ
Web Reference: http://tjroberts.remax.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 1, 2009
Ask the seller to put a new roof on or do a escrow for it and you will still buy the house or you will walk from the deal. This is a buyer beware state so you as the buyer have to verify eveything such as the roof. I think if negotiate a new roof all will be solved. Good Luck and Happy New Year.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 1, 2009
The MLS is not a legal document, as is a purchase contract. A purchase contract gained by false representation of material fact could become the grounds of withdrawal of a licence to practive real estate.
There is a complaint process to be followed in this case. Contact the Real Estate Board in the area and pursue the resolution of this contract with that body. They will advise you of the proper orderly steps to take to resolve this matter.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 1, 2009
It sounds like you are still in your due diligence period and can walk away. What are the terms of your contract? What does your Buyer's Agent tell you?
Web Reference: http://www.JenBowman.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 1, 2009
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