Really Difficult Seller

Asked by Wayne Happ, Califon, NJ Thu Jan 3, 2008

I've passed attorney review in a home buying process. It seems that there's a good chance the seller may of knowingly put false information on the disclosure. A plumbing inspector and house inspetor told me the same thing, Some work looks new, some old. Need to go to the town to see if permits required. I called the town bilding dept. The town building departmemt tells me that the the seller needs to come in and tell them what he did so they can determine if permits were required. This town is Ok with permits after the fact as long as it passes inspection. The seller refues to go and stops answering email phone etc.. Can I take any legal action against this guy to make him either get permits or reimburse me for my expenses? The cherry on top is that the sellers real estate agent told him to get permits but never followed up to see if he did and never relayed the info to me or my real estate agent. Now I'm hopping mad, I feel that the seller nor his lawyer/agent are doing due diligence

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Thu Jan 3, 2008
I agree with Marc. This is a bad situation, and if the seller's been dishonest about this, odds are there are other problems, too. By the way, where's your agent in this whole mess? Meanwhile, the seller is probably just chuckling; look at all the work you're doing--making calls, going down to the building department, etc. Seller figures you must really want to buy his rat hole.

Contact a lawyer; have him read over the documents. Get yourself out of the situation legally, protecting yourself.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Wayne Happ, , Califon, NJ
Fri Jan 4, 2008
Thanks for the input all. My rate expires at the end of the month and I would like to put it to good use (It's really good < 6%) . So I'm out going looking again immediately. My realtor has been actually very helpful through all this. She's the one who took the sellers disclosure, listing and compared it to what was on file at the Clinton Municipal Dept. Saw the difference and asked for the permits. I made the mistake of hiring inspectors while the seller was procrastinating. I think the seller and his realtor were assuming that we would take their word for it that no permits were needed and take it as is. When we caught them, you would think that they would say "opps my mistake, I'll go get them". But no thery dug in their heels. So next week I'm turning all the documents over to Clinton Code Enforcement and they'll decide if it's so egregious that they'll turn it over to the state authorities. The inspectors in Hunterdon County are a very serious lot and take code infractions very seriously. Next time I bid on a house I'm be smart enough to check for permits and such before I start paying for inspections. There's something in North Nj called the "Skyland Preservation Act" ?!? Not sure of thwe workind that's locally taken very seriously.
3 votes
Tman, , 30642
Fri Jan 4, 2008
I'd just pass on this one, with or without reimbursement ...

You don't want to be stuck between the sellers real estate agent and the seller when and if it goes court in 10 or 15 months, agents as well as sellers get short term memory loss real quick .. plus, you don't know what else has been played with.

2 votes
Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Thu Jan 3, 2008
Hi Wayne,

The reality is you're pretty much out of luck. I'd run, not walk, away from this house and this seller and chalk up the $1,500 to eduactional expense. You already know he's lied and none of your professionals have given you much of a green light. Whatever you know about with this house and owner, there are probably 50 other things you don't know and won't know about until after you close and then you're stuck with it. Realistically, you can forget about getting your expenses back, it's not going to happen and it's not worth trying to sue over.

I'd just move on. There are so many houses on the market without these problems. Why sign on for sure trouble?

1 vote
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Fri Jan 4, 2008
II frequently keep in touch with buyers for years after their purchase. In almost every instance where the initial contract did not work out, my buyers tell me they believe it was for the better because the home they never would have gotten the home where they currently live. This has rung true whether it was due to a bid war, inspection issues, or other reasons. The same may happen for you; the home you buy may work out perfectly. Good Luck.
0 votes
Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Fri Jan 4, 2008
Excellent Wayne. Glad to see your agent is on top of things too. Good luck on the next one. Usually it works out for the best and you are glad the first one got away because the next one is so much better.

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0 votes
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Fri Jan 4, 2008
There is a perception amongst many people that there is additional value in overcoming obstacles and hurdles.

This perception of additional value persists in the mind, even if the final objective achieved is no better ( or worse ) a result than the achievement of a goal by simpler means that is more easily obtainable. .

Examples: What is a better home run? One that goes over the fence or an inside the park home run?
What is a better touchdown ? A photo op play with 3 hand offs, 6 lateral passes and a hard tackle at the end zone... or a straight open field run ?

Some of us thrive on complication and intrigue. Sounds like Wayne's seller prefers doing things the hard way.
0 votes
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