Should seller let know a buyer about incomplete drywall?

Asked by Helenka, Portland, OR Mon Aug 19, 2013

We are about to close on a house. I found out a room in the basement has bottom half of wall (4'Hx14'W) missing to access to the heater unit. The seller had a cabinet there when I saw the house and never disclosed this. I am upset about the seller sort of hiding this. Do I have any recourse??

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Adriana Focke, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Aug 28, 2013
Is this matter material for you to move forward? In other words, do you want to back out of the purchase? Then you can contact a real estate attorney so you can get your earnest money back, but it will probably cost you your earnest money and maybe more. If you don't want to back out, then there is not much you can do if you have passed the period for inspections. At least drywall is not an expensive repair.
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Heather Wrig…, Agent, The Dalles, OR
Thu Aug 22, 2013
I would advise you to seek legal advice. As real estate agents we are not to give legal advice. I always tell sellers to disclose, disclose, disclose! So important. I hope you get some answers soon and that you havent closed yet with this uneasy find.
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Tom Inglesby, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Aug 20, 2013
Have you had the appraiser out yet? They could call it out as needing to be fixed? You per code you need a 3 foot area infront of the furnace for access so that is why it is left open. YOu will want to put a door a some kind of removable wall so you can access the furnace. Good Luck, Tom Inglesby, Broker, RE/MAX
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Lana Lavenba…, Agent, Grants Pass, OR
Tue Aug 20, 2013
That is a great question for an attorney - we as agents have no way of giving you legal advice. I would think the seller would let you know that the cabinet would be leaving but it might be best there is no drywall where the access to the heater unit is anyway...
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Ricker Opp R…, Agent, Portland, OR
Mon Aug 19, 2013
I agree that the seller should have disclosed it and your inspector should have found it. However, take a look and see if it is necessary to access the heater unit. Perhaps something besides drywall should be put in place to make the access point more visually appealing. A cabinet door perhaps. If the access point is really not needed, then you have to ask yourself if a small bit of drywall repair is worth getting worked up about. If you love the house and are past your inspection period - ask your realtor if they know someone that can do small project repair. Homes are like people - none are perfect.
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Norm Rice, Agent, Clackamas, OR
Mon Aug 19, 2013
Helenka - if you are still in the home inspection period you could ask your Realtor to submit a repair addendum requesting that the wall be repaired. Even if you have past the inspection time you could still ask the seller if that could be possibility repaired since you have not yet closed.

The seller may or may not have purposely tried to hide this from you. It may have simply been an oversight and a non-accusatory discussion could still take place. I have found that a by approaching a seller in a calm and non-accusatory fashion (or their Realtor), problems can usually be taken care of in a way satisfactory to both sides. If the seller refuses to do anything, and this was not discovered during the inspection period, you may have no recourse. Perhaps your Realtor could suggest someone who could repair this for you and a reasonable cost.
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Marvin Von R…, Agent, Tigard, OR
Mon Aug 19, 2013
Well first lets figure out if its worth turning your stomach lining all red over it. Whats the most that it will change your life, wallet or decision to buy the house? Im not saying it was right---just that life is short, my friend. I never let anyone get away with anything but have mellowed in my ripe old age, lol. If it will cost you money in any way then go after them
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