Home Buying in Maryland>Question Details

Racquel, Home Buyer in Washington, DC

I recently bought a TH, one of the addendums prior to closing concerned repairs to a door not sliding

Asked by Racquel, Washington, DC Wed Aug 13, 2008

properly. Already moved in, but find that door repaired wont close, slides fine but won't close. I know that I will have to deal with it being fixed but wonder about due diligence of my agent. Have uncovered wiring problems that she didn't point out and they didn't appear at inspection. Problem being, light switch to room doesn't seem connected with any outlets in room and wonder what switch is for. Isn't the buyer's agent supposed to be knowledgable eyes for me to uncover things a new home buyer doesn't know how to uncover or look for?

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Racquel, It sounds like you requested the door be repaired and the seller approved that request. You should identify who made the repair...I would start there..they should stand behind the work they did. Did you request a "licensed" contractor? That could be an avenue to pursue if the person was licensed and does not stand behind his work.
Many steps should have been taken...first the suggestion of a home inspection (which you did) clearly the door issue was identified. Check your inspection report to see if the switch was mentioned...if the house was vacant the inspector may not have been able to identify what the switch controlled...even if it was lived in, if nothing was plugged in to the switch it may not have been noticed, often inspectors will mention small items in their report. That is where a walk through is helpful...especially if you do it with the sellers present...you can ask questions about details of the house. There is a remote possibility the switch was never properly linked and the seller just never addressed it. Try to find a way to get answers and not a person to blame..you will probably find better success with the problems...neither seem worth any legal action...I am sure you just want them to work. Best wishes with your new home. If you need any referrals for contractors or electricians please let me know jgarinther@kw.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 14, 2008
I think you need to contact your agent , let her know the problems and follow up with a call to the Home Inspector. It is the responsibility of the Home Inspector to address these issues during the inspection. That is the purpose of hiring a professional Inspector in the first place.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 13, 2008
As the others note, the items you're mentioning fall under the umbrella of the home inspector, not your agent and not his/her "due dilligence." Now, some agents plow through a house just like a home inspector, checking every switch, every faucet, every outlet. Others don't. It's not their responsibility. I expect that among the documents you signed (either during the process of acquiring a buyer's agent or certainly when making your offer) was one advising you to get a home inspection. You do refer to "inspection"--was that the home inspection? A home inspector should have detected the problem.

No, the buyer's agent's role isn't that of a home inspector, just as the agent's role isn't one of a lawyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 13, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
That is actually the job of the home inspector, not a buyers agent. The buyers agent should assist you an disclose what they know, see or heard. There would be no way for a buyers agent to know the scope of electrical outlets. That would be the job of the home inspector to check each outlet during the inspection to make sure it works. As well as all windows and doors should have been opened and shut to make sure they closed properly. I would go back on the home inspector not the buyer broker. Good Luck
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 13, 2008
Those are inspection issues and agent would not be searching for all these points. Call the inspector. Did you do a walk thru prior to closing if so did you check the door? Were receipts presented at closing for repairs? Speak with your buyers agent regarding those issues for door. If home is new construction then likely have a warranty period contact the builder.
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Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 13, 2008
Sorry to hear of the things you have found out. Agents though, are not electricians and if your home inspector did not find these issues, then it is highly doubtful that your agent would have. It doesn't sound like they were being negligent, although that is a legal issue and should be discussed with the appropriate parties.
Technically also, the door would be an item of maintenance and not something structural, or mechanical. Although, since it was part of the addendum, it should have been taken care of. Did you do a final walk through prior to settlement? This may have uncovered what had not been fixed before.
You may want to contact your agent to discuss these things and the home inspector that inspected the home.
If you used a standard MAR contract, it states in there that agents are not deemed responsible for pointing those types of items out to you since that is not their area of expertise.
Good luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 13, 2008
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