I recently closed on a vacation condo. 3 weeks after the closing the real estate agent who handled both sides of the sale contacted me and asked for

Asked by Jay, Campton, NH Tue May 11, 2010

approx $300 for the seeler as fuel (gas) was in the propane tank. This was never negotiated by the seller and I have to say I was a bit remorse that the agent even contact me. I feel that this should hve been brought to my attention earlier.

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Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Fri May 14, 2010
If your sales agreement states:

" that fuel in storage shall be prorated at time and date of closing..."

the question is - does this statement or obligation "survive" closing - which means... can it be enforced if it wasn't taken care of or addressed at the closing?

An attorney can answer that for you., legally.

Ethically, it seems reasonable, though, that it would have been your responsibility to pay for the propane.......if you want to make this easy, you can take care of it now..........yes, you are correct - it should have been handled during the closing....but , from what I have read here, it was an oversight..........it would be a nice gesture on your part to take care of it now.

For a truly legal response, as I said - ask an attorney.

Best wishes..........
0 votes
Chip Roper, Agent, Waterville Valley, NH
Fri May 14, 2010
Hi Jay,
It's actually line 10 of the purchase and sales agreement where it states that fuel in storage shall be prorated at time and date of closing...fyi. If you have any questions I'd be happy to help. -chip
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Fri May 14, 2010
Jay you need to read the purchase and sales agreement, most standard NH purchase agreements include the wording 'The buyer shall pay the seller for fuel in storage." Now unles you crossed it out, it may be in there so please read that. Now as far as propane is concerned. you need to call teh propane company and make sure teh seller had paid for that propane before you pay them for it. Propane is usually depivered and then billed for, so if they didnt pay, you could be out that money and then still have to pay teh gas company befor ethey suck teh propane out. It is up to you whether to fight them for this. Fuel in storage is uslalu paid ofr at closing. The day of your walkthrough the agent should have measured the gas, confirmed with you the amount, and calculated that days cost of propane time how many gallons and at closing you would have wrote a personal check to the seller. If teh agent didnt go over this with you it is part their fault however if you didnt read teh purchase agrement before signing, a judge may not side with you. good luck working things out, you should at least ask the broker to pay up
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes
Chip Roper, Agent, Waterville Valley, NH
Wed May 12, 2010
Hi Jay,
I'm actually a real estate agent in the area with an office in Waterville Valley. This is common in a transaction where heat fuel is involved. Cord wood is also considered to be fuel in storage because it is fuel that has been paid for by owner and left for the buyer (usually). Sometimes condominiums in this area have a propane meter with a buried tank within the development, in which case there would be a meter read (like the electric meter). This could have lead to an oversight on the agents part, because condominium closings have slightly different "i's to dot and t's to cross" than a single family home. In regards to the $300... you would have had to pay it if it didn't slip through the cracks.... your call.
0 votes
Tom McGuirk, Agent, Hampton, NH
Wed May 12, 2010
Jay;

This should have been brought to your attention earlier in an ideal world. It is in the standard Purchase & Sales agreement in NH which you would have signed.

Some propane companies will bill you for the propane in storage while others will have the Buyer credit the Seller at closing (this would not be on the HUD). Due the different procedures for the different companies, I can see where the confusion could arise. I'm sure it was not maliscious on the part of the agent.
0 votes
Jeff York, , Oklahoma City, OK
Tue May 11, 2010
Check in your closing documents, but here in Oklahoma you sign a paper that states you are accepting the property in its' condition at the time of signing. Therefore you accepted the fuel in the tank. If it was paid for by the seller and they left it behind it should no be yours. Check the laws in your state. If the custom in your area is to pay that then the seller sounds like they may have action against the Realtor for not exercising reasonable skill and care, if that is required.
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Tue May 11, 2010
Jay - Yes - this should have been brought to your attention earlier - it is an adjustment that should have been taken care of at or before the closing.
If there is nothing in writing, then you should not be obligated to pay anything at this time.

Calling you 3 weeks after the closing shows, to me, that the agent must have accidently overlooked this - as well as the sellers. One of them must have realized this oversight, and are now trying to catch up.

With nothing in writing........their mistake is your gain. You cannot be forced to pay anything.
If you choose to respond to them, it will be out of the goodness of your heart.

Enjoy your new home!
0 votes
Voices Member, , Jacksonville, FL
Tue May 11, 2010
You are correct. This should have been part of the contract and included on the closing statement if you, as the buyer, were expected to pay for it. Unless your contract, or closing documents provide for handling this after closing, I don't see why you should be expected to pay.
0 votes
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