HELP My wife & I are trying to purchase our 1st home. We had 1 home inspector come out & 1 bldr give their reviews. Both said there were

Asked by Chad Jordan, Greenville County, SC Wed Jun 16, 2010

issues & needed about $5K worth of work. The seller is selling the home for his mother. He owns a Electrical supply store and he sells to contractors.The seller said there were no issues & their inspector said there were no issues. Their 1st inspector was a "DRY WALL" repairman. We called him out that his inspector was not licensed on structural repairs (law in SC). The seller said he hired a " Structural engineer" who said also "No problems". So we had a final inspection (the seller spent $400 on overall repairs) done & our inspector (3rd NEW inspector) said there were still issues $5k Several of the floor joists in crawl spc were ROTTEN, moisture under home, fungus, etc. Our inspector told us the SELLER was a local in the business & he was confident they got someone write down “no issues” to get out of fixing. What can we do? We R supposed to close Friday June 18. Can we do anything to get the seller to pay for this? my email is can someone please help

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Christopher Lefebvre’s answer
Christopher…, Agent, Methuen, MA
Wed Jun 16, 2010
Are you already past your home inspection contingency date? These issues should have been addressed before the home inspection contingency date expired so you could have either negotiated a new deal acceptable to both parties in light of the new issues discovered during the inspection or back out of the deal and get your deposit money back. Unfortunately, if you are past your home inspection contingency date and you back out of the deal the seller may have a claim to your deposit money.

Do you have a buyer's agent representing you? What is he or she saying about the situation?
1 vote
Josh M. Boggs, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Jun 17, 2010

Sounds like a sticky situation. If Seller has local connections; I would certainly make a point to get the names of the companies and the individual claiming they passed the home w/ flying colors. Obviously this is a case of 2 sides to the coin. If you are hiring an inspector, one would hope you trust his opinion and his expertise to lead you in the right path. Sometimes, if we are pressing so hard for the deal we tend to try and second guess what our gut instincts are saying.

In my opinion, either get the seller to pay for the repairs your inspector recommends unless you're comfortable getting the seller's contractors and successful at getting to sign something tying them to that opinion. Otherwise, if you still have time to legally withdraw; then it may be time to do it if you don't have that great gut feeling.

Best of luck,
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0 votes
Marla Walker, Agent, Anderson, SC
Thu Jun 17, 2010
Chad, it appears you have too many unresolved issues to close on the 18th. I'm surprised you haven't mentioned the termite inspection addressing the floor joists, moisture and fungus under the house.
Until the area is actually opened up and corrections made, it could run higher than a visual estimate. Did your contract call for a termite letter? Another avenue may be to have money withheld from the seller's proceeds to cover the costs. The problem may then be not enough was withheld and trying to get the balance from the seller.

Marla Walker, Associate Broker, Anderson, SC
0 votes
FSBOsuccess, Home Seller, 28590
Thu Jun 17, 2010
One thing to clarify for you, Chad. Your $8000 isn't from Obama (how I wish it was directly from him.) It is my and every tax paying American's money!
0 votes
Jewel Swinton, , Greenville, SC
Thu Jun 17, 2010
Hi, Chad. The most current info about the tax credit is that bill has been forwarded to the Senate to push for extending the closing date to September 30, so please ask your Realtor about it. You might have some breathing room with your closing date. I would also suggest that you get another inspection from another source. In this situation, the sellers have their own interests at heart. Can you blame them? The are trying to sell you a house. But don't let your heart rule your head. You could have some major issues with this house that no lender wants to deal with. I think you might need to find another house. Good luck to you.
0 votes
Maureen Cody, , Charleston, SC
Thu Jun 17, 2010
Dear Chad

How is the contract written?
What is written in the Seller's Disclosure?
What does your Realtor and Closing Attorney have to say about this?

If your contract is written that the offer is based on a satisfacory home inspection, then the home inspection issue and any resulting costs for repairs will need to be resolved. It is the role of your Realtor and the listing Realtor to work this out between the buyer and seller. An extension can be created and signed by all parties if it will take longer than the 18th.

Best of luck,
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Jun 17, 2010
Hi again Chad
Based on what you said, if your lender won't fund the loan, unless the joists are repaired, then there isn't much to discuss. There will be no closing with no mortgage. The sellers firmly need to be told this.

What the seller's son or family has or doesn't have, while annoying to you, isn't the issue. The issue is your agent needs to let them know you can't close without funding - and you should be prepared to walk away if they refuse to comply. Are they ok with you walking away?

Hopefully, when your inspector speaks with the other inspector, they will come to some resolution or agreement on exactly what is going on with the structure.

Honestly - I hope you can easily remain where you are curently living if this doesn't work out. If your numbers are so tight that the $8000 tax credit is all you will have, maybe this isn't the time to buy. Imagine if you are living in the house and the furnace dies or the roof needs to be replaced. What will you do then?

There is no way you should pay for this repair - if the seller won't address it, then walk away. Make sure you get legal advice so you can get back any deposit money being held in escrow.

Can't your agent suggest an attorney to call - just to have a conversation with - and to see what your legal options are?

I am sorry you have been put in this position - it does seem unfair - and I truly hope it works out in your favor.

Best wishes...........
0 votes
Chad Jordan, Home Buyer, Greenville County, SC
Wed Jun 16, 2010
well, I am new to all of this. We are not in any breech. We both have realtors (by the way, I just googled and the sons are rich in the electrical supply biz. The company did $5 million and I may $50K last year they could fight my law suit for a while).
What was done was the SELLER had his repairs done. We had our Final inspection done and we were told that the lender will not loan with the floor joists like this. The seller would have to fix this. Yet again, the seller sent out their engineer and he said there were no issues, but they were clearly there.
The lender and my realtor told me I could get out of this home if I wanted/needed to. The only thing is, if we do, we LOSE the $8K from Obama. If we even get the $8K and we paid the $5K (Plus if anything else comes about) we would still have $3K left over. The problem is the Lenders will not loan with this issue. We took it back to the sellers and yadda, yadda, there are no issues. The son and brother who are selling this home for their mother in a nursing home, as I stated are both wealthy and 1 lives in a million dollar mansion, and as I stated above, the brother owns a million dollar electrical supply business. So I can see that they could get someone to "vouch" the inspection for them. Our final inspector personally wants to speak to their inspector. He is supposed to call his tomorrow. I look foward to hereing what is said. The thing is my wife and I are 1st starting out, these guys have millions and they wont help out with a few thousand dollars and they are being crooked. I was told by my inspector that the only recourse is to sue them, but they know I wont do that and they have the money to cover it if I tried too. I just dont know how someone can get away with having someone lie about an issue on a home, where I have had 3 seperate inspectors go out and they all are differnt and honest. They are not overstating anything. They are giving bare mininmum prices to fix as they know my wife and I dont have alot of money if we ended up getting the home and if we had to pay for the home to be fixed. I just cant understand people lying like that. Its a shame.
0 votes
ian cockburn, Agent, New Orleans, LA
Wed Jun 16, 2010
First of all, never trust anyone simply because they sell a product that is part of what they are selling. Bottom line..get an INDEPENDENT inspector who is licensed.

If you are passed the inspection period you may have an issue.

Tell the seller straight up..the floor joists are rotten, there is mold or whatever else you have found and this is unexceptable. If he will not fix it, you will notify the bank, the insurance company and see if they will accept a house with such problems...and if not you will walk away...leverage others to get things done right.

Secret 1 of 3: Always be willing to walk away.
Secret 2 of 3: Always push like you have nothing to lose.
Secret 3 of 3 in a Buyer's market: Never tell the seller about Secrets 1 and 2.
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0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Wed Jun 16, 2010
Chad, I agree with Chris, as I am confused as to why these items are being discussed at this late date.

I know you're in SC, and things might be different there, but I can't imagine that you didn't have a time period following contract signing to have the inspections completed, and then to request repairs . I can't imagine that you didn't have an opportunity to walk away if the seller refused to make repairs - whether they agreed with your inspector or not.

I am at a loss as to how to advise you.
I suppose you could refuse to close until all this is clairified, but you don't want to be in breach of your contract, and no one can give you legal advice other than an attorney.

We use real estate attorneys here - it might be time for you to call one if you have no other representation.
There is not enough of an explanation or information here to comment any further.
I wish you good luck.
0 votes
Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Wed Jun 16, 2010
I would contact the "structural engineer" that the seller used. Ask him (or her) point blank did you inspect the house? HOW did you MISS rotten beams? Do you have insurance to cover such a mistake? WOuld you like to change your opinion here?

Maybe it will do nothing. Maybe you will find out they never actually did the inspection. If they admit they did not do a proper inspection try to get them to go to closing and say so. Then you have a way out as the contract was based on false information.

p.s. yup, need a lawyer here. I could be very wrong...
0 votes
Steve Roake, Agent, Naperville, IL
Wed Jun 16, 2010
Tricky situation. A few questions first. No realtors are involved in this transaction? what about an attorney? If possible, I would run away from this house if the seller is not willing to make concessions. There are likely other things that the inspectors were not able to see that may cost YOU a lot of money down the road. You will need to look at your contract. Generally, there is a 5 day window to ask for repairs. If you met these conditions, then the negotiations would be considered reopened. Until an agreement is reached, you should be able to terminate the contract. However, if you missed this, then you may have a big problem.
Again, given the info, I'd want out of buying this home. Go get an attorney if you don't have one. It will be a lot easier to get the issue resolved before you close on the home than after.
0 votes
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