Bruce Weston, Home Buyer in Tampa, FL

We recently purchased a home and now find that items that the seller said were working do not. Is there?

Asked by Bruce Weston, Tampa, FL Mon Oct 29, 2007

anything that I can do about it?

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Ute Ferdig -…, Agent, New Castle, DE
Mon Oct 29, 2007
Hi Bruce. The answer to your question will depend on whether the seller knew that these things did not work and failed to disclose them. Some things are more obvious than others and sometimes things just break and stop working. That's why it's always a good idea to get a home warranty plan that covers a lot of things that can go wrong, but only if they worked at least when you took ownership. If you had a home inspection and those non-functional items were operational at the time of the inspection, the insurance would most likely pay for any covered items.

If you had an agent, have your agent call the seller's agent and see if an agreement can be worked out. If you did not have an agent and the seller had an agent, contact the listing agent. If neither of you were represented by an agent, it may be more difficult to locate the former owner unless the sellers provided you with that information.

In summary, I think unless you can prove that the seller knew that those things did not work, you'll be responsible for getting them fixed. Unfortunately, that's one of the facts of home ownership.
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Carrie Crowe…, Agent, Southaven, MS
Mon Oct 29, 2007
Hey Bruce,
Did you have an agent representing you. If so, get them involved. They will be able to guide you through. Give us more information so we know what is going on. Thanks,
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Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Mon Oct 29, 2007
Was there a sellers' disclosure? Did you have a home inspection? Did you do a walk through? What exactly is not working? How recent was your purchase? We'll need more information to help you. Please include your location, too.
In NJ, before a buyer submits an offer, they check the sellers' disclosure (when available) that tells what the sellers know to be the condition of the house; then, buyers have inspections to check out the condition of the house with a professional which (hopefully) verifies the conditiion previously stated by the sellers, finally, on the closing day we perform a final walk through to be sure there have been no changes in the condition of the house. This generally protects buyers from any surprises after closing. If the day of the walk through something is discovered, it is brought to the attention of the attorneys and money can be held in escrow until the problem is remediated. After closing, any discoveries would have to be remediated through law suit. It is not that way in all states though, so please do post your location for a local agent to provide the way its done in that state.
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Salt Lake Ag…, , Salt Lake City, UT
Mon Oct 29, 2007
Hi Bruce, The first that you need to do is refer to the contract. What are the terms?

Did you buy the property through an agent, and use the standard purchase contract? If so most agents in your area could address this fairly quickly.

Then the question is, how long after you purchased did the problems occur? This will also have a bearing on the liability. Typically a seller is liable to deliver the property in working order unless a different arrangement was made in writing.

Did you have a home inspection? Remember inspections are site inspections…

Then is they are latent defects and the seller knew, you would have to prove it. Then it is a question of which is the lesser, repairing or proving.

Good Luck
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