Leaky Roof not Disclosed by Seller

Asked by sday86, Chicago, IL Fri May 3, 2013

We bought a house a little over 2 months ago. The seller disclosed nothing about the roof other than it had been replaced year ago. There is a covered and enclosed patio built on with a metal roof (different from the rest of the house). The metal roof started leaking the day we closed. When we contacted our real estate agent about it, she asked the seller if they had problems with the roof. They said no. We had a contractor come out to look and they said it was obvious that it had been a problem for a long time. Where do we go from here? Is our real estate agent responsible for helping us through this problem if we have to find an attorney? She seems annoyed that we are contacting her again.

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Answers

15
Michael Toebe…, Both Buyer And Seller, Wichita, KS
Sat Sep 23, 2017
A wise, protective, helpful response in situations like this are to request to mediate, either through a local real estate association or by researching and hiring a mediator on your own.

It is non adversarial, confidential, inexpensive compared to litigation, you get to tell your story well to the other party, there is flexibility in problem solving and you have decision making power. You also don't have to agree to something you don't like.

Court offers none of these benefits.

Michael Toebe
Mediator
Wichita, Ks
0 votes
Josh Barnett, Agent, Carney, OK
Sun Mar 22, 2015
Where is this issue at right now?
0 votes
Jackson Will…, Home Buyer, Provo, UT
Tue Mar 10, 2015
I don't think you have to continue talking to the real estate agent, but you definitely are going to want to get this problem resolved as quickly as possible. If the contractor said this would have been a long-standing problem, you're going to want to find out why it was never disclosed. Hiring a lawyer wouldn't be a bad idea. Make sure that you keep solid records of all the money you have to put into resolving this issue.
http://www.dixielandofal.com/DLM/panels.html
0 votes
Sandra Cooper, Agent, Oklahoma City, OK
Mon Feb 2, 2015
Although the leak might be there for a while.. it doesn't mean that the home owner knew about it. they just have to disclose problems they know about. you are buying an existing home just with a used car it is AS IS after repairs negotiated have been made. It is just that simple. You as the Buyer have to conduct inspections and if nothing is found on the roof and your roof leaks after closing its unfortunately your responsibility... You can hire a lawyer and go to court but if you don't have sufficient evidence that the seller knew about it its pointless.
0 votes
Sandra, this is such a slanted, negative and inaccurate answer. Unhelpful to those who might be experiencing negative reality. The question the poster asked may not mean guilt yet it does reveal possibility that not all was legally, ethically disclosed.

The buyer and seller can both benefit by doing research and then meeting to respectfully converse, listen well and collaboratively, creatively problem solve.

Michael Toebe
Mediator
Wichita, Ks
Flag Sat Sep 23, 2017
Gerald Vonbe…, Home Buyer, Jackson Springs, NC
Mon Dec 1, 2014
It definitely should have been disclosed. However, fighting it depends on how much damage was caused by the leak and how much it would cost to repair it. There's no sense in going through a lawsuit if it's not going to cost that much to repair. You could end up paying the attorney a lot more than the cost of the roof repair. Roof leaks happen. I would have someone come in to give you a bid on the cost of the repairs and then go from there. http://www.permaboot.co/howitworks.html
0 votes
Josh Barnett, Agent, Carney, OK
Sat Nov 1, 2014
What ended up happening, did the home warranty help?
0 votes
garypuntman, , Los Angeles, CA
Mon Oct 27, 2014
This should have been disclosed. You might want to check this out with a lawyer. They will know what type of legal action to take to get these issues sorted out. http://www.roofdentist.com/index.html
0 votes
Wells Bridge…, Agent, OKC, OK
Fri May 3, 2013
I would contact your home inspector and have them come back out. If they missed it, you may have a case with them. If there was evidence of a problem, it was their job to inform you.

Best of luck,

Bridgett Wells
Keller Williams Realty Elite
405-651-9320
bridgettwells@kw.com
0 votes
I agree with Bridgett. You should start by contacting the home inspection company. They definitely should have detected a leak that large. Home inspectors are usually pretty good at limiting their liability, but it is worth a shot. They will definitely refund the inspection fee, and they might even pay for the repairs.

http://www.permaboot.co/howitworks.html
Flag Sat Jan 3, 2015
Steve Parsons, Agent, Salisbury, MD
Fri May 3, 2013
If there is solid evidence that there is an remedied repair and your home inspectors did not see it, there may be recourse that can be taken against them. You should contact an attorney and see what they recommend.
0 votes
sday86, Home Buyer, Chicago, IL
Fri May 3, 2013
Thank you all. Just to clarify it is NOT outdoors. It is more like a sunroom. There are windows, a door and a window a/c unit. I'm pretty confident that the seller knew about it because there were two plastic lawn chairs left in front of the wall that has the water stains from previous leaking. They were the only things left in the house. We had two inspectors. Neither said anything about the roof. The contractor said they should have caught it. We're having another contractor come out to look at it today. How do we prove that the seller knew about it? The only evidence that we have is the contractor's opinion and the lawn chairs "hiding" the stain. I know they had the other roof replaced because of a hail storm. Could we use that in any way?
0 votes
Russell Bens…, Agent, Oklahoma City, OK
Fri May 3, 2013
If you can show it had an obvious issue prior to closing, then you may have a case but it needs to be strong evidence. When our state disclosures are filled out, they are answering the questions to the best of their knowledge and it is always possible there is an issue but the seller honestly did not know about it. Get your case together and try to work something out before getting a lawyer involved. It could be a tough thing to prove but you have to at least try.

If the agent is annoyed by your contact, remind her that she is your agent (depending on the level of representation) and she needs to assist you if she can. I think any honest agent would at least try and offer whatever assistance within their power and ability.

Good Luck!

Russell Benson, REALTOR®
Prudential Alliance Realty
0 votes
Ellen Brisc…, Agent, Oklahoma City, OK
Fri May 3, 2013
Yes your Realtor can advise you what to do.
0 votes
Josh Barnett, Agent, Carney, OK
Fri May 3, 2013
Thoughts:
1. Why was this not found during the inspections, investigations and review?
2. Approach the Seller with the findings form the roofing company.
3. If the seller still feels they have not done anything wrong you will need to seek legal council.
0 votes
Steve Parsons, Agent, Salisbury, MD
Fri May 3, 2013
As stated before, unless the seller knew about the leak, there's not much you can do. Before I sell any home, I tell my buyers to get a home inspection. This way if something is found after the sale, you might have some recourse. My best advise would be to talk to an attorney and see what they recommend.

-Steve Parsons
Prudential PenFed Realty
801 E Naylor Mill Road; Suite F
Salisbury, MD 21801
O) 410-912-4700 C)443-235-1240 F) 410-912-4701
0 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Fri May 3, 2013
Unless you can prove that the seller knew about the leak... (a corrugated tin roof over a patio that leaks might not have been noticed... even if it did leak... after all, it's outside)... you probably don't have a leg to stand on.

Your agent should be able to put you in touch with a real estate attorney, but it sounds as though you might end up spending more money on an attorney, than the repair.
0 votes
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