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Leeann, Home Buyer in South Dallas/Fair Park...

We put a contract on the house, its a few days before we were going to close and We have found out that there

Asked by Leeann, South Dallas/Fair Park, Dallas, TX Sat Jul 19, 2008

is damage to the roof and there needs a new roof to be put on. Can we get out the of contract with out them sueing us? We aren't even worried about getting the deopsite or the earnest money!!!

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How you found out is important and if the seller already knew about the damage is important, too.
If the Seller's Disclosure, which is required in Texas, already mentioned that the roof had damage, then you are not in a good position to get back your earnest money, unless you are still within the notification period called out by the Third Party Financing addendum.
During the notification period you can send notice to the seller that your financing cannot be obtained and your Realtor can explain that the roof damage is preventing approval of the loan. This gives the seller a chance to extend the closing, repair the roof and still close.
If you signed off on the Disclosure that revealed damage existed, then you cannot claim that you were ignorant of the fact. On the other hand, if they knew and failed to disclose, Texas provides triple damages against such deceit under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. You will need a lawyer to explain your rights and sue for damages.
Really this latter course is a last resort. You probably would prefer to have the roof fixed and close, but if you are now leery of other hidden defects and prefer not to close, that is understandable. A Release of Earnest Money form should be sent specifying you as the sole recipient of the Earnest Money -- your Realtor can arrange this.
Unfortunately, some sellers do try to hide defects they are aware of, which is why the law provides punitive damages. The money you spent on inspections, survey, application fees, appraisal and so on plus other expenses related to your purchase could become the basis to be multiplied times 3.
Claiming they were unaware may be difficult to disprove, especially if you didn't find out until a roofing inspection revealed it. Neighbors might know otherwide, such as they went to a roofing company and got a quote already. So, don't think it is automatic that you get money back. Your attorney is the best counsel on such matters.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 19, 2008
If your contract is subject to you getting approved for financing then your this gives you an out because you cannot get a loan on the house if you cannot get homeowners insurance because the roof needs replacement.. Have you asked the sellers to replace the roof? Does it just need some tiles to be replaced?

Naima
Web Reference: http://www.sumnerrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 19, 2008
There are so many details that I would need to know before I could answer that question.
1. Was the roof disclosed on the Sellers Disclosure?
2. When did the damage occur?
3. How was the damage discovered?
4. Are you still in your Option Period?
5. Have the sellers agreed to replace the roof?
6. What is the cost of the replacement?
If you are not worried about getting your deposit and earnest money back then it seems as though there is more to this scenario. If indeed there is damage to the roof and it was not disclosed and pre-existing, you can get out of the contract. You need to work with your agent or an attorney to make certain that the correct paperwork is filed. If the damage occurred after you became contractually bound, you still have grounds for termination. The contract stated that the seller must turn the home over to you in the same condition it was when you agreed to purchase, normal wear and tear considered. Again, much more information is needed for an accurate answer to be given. I would be happy to help further if you need.
Kindly,
MaLisa
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 20, 2008
How did you find out about the roof and why so late in the process? Did you have a home inspection? Every buyer should have a home inspection and there should be a contingency written into the contract that if you find something in the home inspection you can negotiate repairs. If there is no contingency based on home inspection, if you back out of the contract you will lose your earnest deposit and could possibly be sued for backing out of the contract (even though that rarely happens) Talk to your agent and see if you have any contingencies.

If the seller really wants to sell the property, they may still negotiate repairing the roof if you say you are going to back out. It all depends on what their situation is.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 19, 2008
You need to have an appraiser involved OR was it discovered by an appraiser?

WHY a bank cant lend money on a home that has roof damage, so no matter what IF ALL IS TRUE off your authored statements disclaimer, request for the seller to have the roof replaced.

I do know a roofer in the Dallas COULD BE happy work with seller possibly take his payment from the seller proceeds at closing.

Contact my office if I can be of any further assistance 972-699-9111
http://www.lynn911.com http://www.homes-for-sale-dallas.com
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 19, 2008
What does your contract say? What does your Realtor advise? Did you find this oput as part of your inspection process, and, if so, are you still within the timeframe to negotiate fixes? You can probably get out, but you almost certainly will lose your deposit if your cancellation isn't tied to a contingency.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 19, 2008
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