Realtor showing the house claimed to know nothing about obvious problems with house (plumbing, electrical, cracks in ceiling, recent remodeling).

Asked by Travis, Tyler, TX Thu Aug 25, 2011

Sellers Disclosure shows seller knows nothing. Some repairs were obviously done. How can I get information regarding this particular house as to what work was completed and not completed by previous owner?

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Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Aug 25, 2011
Travis, I think you're going about this the wrong way.

Rather than chasing dead ends, follow the advice of earlier posters and have the property inspected to your satisfaction. And if you're not satisfied, walk away and find a property in more satisfactory condition.

All the best,
1 vote
Ronda Allen, Agent, Plano, TX
Thu Aug 25, 2011
Obvious to who? Are you sure the builder didn't make repairs during the warranty period or a prior owner or tenant made repairs. It is entirely possible for the seller and their listing agent not to have any details on repairs.

The home inspection process is a non~invasive, visual inspection. If still in doubt about the condition, get professionals out there to give their professional opinion. If still in doubt, then walk away. That's what the option period is for. Better to spend a few hundred and walk away, then not inspect enough and buy the money pit.
Have a blessed day.
1 vote
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Thu Aug 25, 2011
You're right realtor may not know what was previously done. That's normal.
The previous owner might not even know. That's not unusual.
This is tough.....Invoices from a general contractor might help.
Information from your inspector is another resource, but they can't always tell what was done, just if it works or not.
Other resources might be neighbors or the inspection department in your city if permits were pulled.
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1 vote
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Thu Aug 25, 2011
Even if they KNEW what had been done; that really doesn't help you:
You won't know the extent or the quality of the work.
Sellers are only required to DISCOLSE what they KNOW about the repairs.
If they were absentee landlords, they may not know much and you couldn't hold them liable.
This is a real Caviat Emptor; you've got to do your investigations!

You need a good team of INSPECTORS, to know what you are inheriting.
General, Pest and Roof, at the minimum.

Good luck and may God bless
1 vote
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Aug 25, 2011

Don't waste too much time worrying about what was done or not done by the previous owner. Consider viewing the home with someone that can view the property critically and provide you with a basic understanding of what the issues may be or the general condition of the property.

If you still have concerns about making an offer contingent on a satisfactory structural inspection, it may be an indication that maybe you should move on and explore other options.

Realtors are usually not qualified to make evaluations of property relative to repairs, problems, previous work etc. but your home inspector should be able to.

Good luck,

1 vote
Karen Parsons…, Agent, Laguna Beach, CA
Thu Aug 25, 2011
Hi Travis,

There are situations where the seller won't know...or won't investigate. Normally these are flippers or investors. Also sometimes Trust Sales will be like this.

The most important thing is not to rely on others to tell you the condition of the home. Hire a good solid home inspector and see what they say. Building permits should be on file at the Building Dept of the city as well.

The home inspector should be able to give you guidance on other potential problems....or reassure you that it's basically in good shape.

0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Thu Aug 25, 2011
Travis you could check with teh building dept for permits however the majority of worls done in homes are by teh owner who did not pull any permist. A good home inspector will be able to point out any defects or recent repairs to you.
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0 votes
Corey Buck M…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Thu Aug 25, 2011
Check with the local Building Department to determine what permitted activity has been completed on the home. From there you might be able to gain a better understanding of the work being professionally done vs. what was done by the Owner. If you have concerns about specific items, you will have the opportunity to discovery more thoroughly the condition of the home during your home inspection. Get a good referral for hiring an inspector and do not go with the least expensive. In a situation like you are describing, the inspection report can be a great negotiation tool.

Best of Luck.
0 votes
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