Why am I getting important information too late and who is to blame?

Asked by Jen, Syracuse, NY Thu Sep 15, 2011

I was all set to close on my house 3 months ago. Mold was found during the final walk through the day before closing. It's been 3 months and the issue is not fixed yet (Relocation owns the property). For the first month my attorney kept extending my lock-in date weekly (for a $20 a day charge) in hopes they would get it done quickly. After about a month my lender HSBC told me I could let my lock-in expire and not endure the fees. I'm a first time home buyer and I had to no idea you could even do this, I thought paying the fees were my only option. By then the relocation company said they would be done soon so I extended it one more week. I notified HSBC today that I will be letting it expire and they decide to FINALLY NOTIFY me that I could have let it expire and if I wanted to re-lock before the 30 days THEN I would have had to pay the fees. This would have saved me THOUSANDS of dollars. My attorney says HSBC is not at fault. Why wasn't I told this information sooner?

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13
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Thu Sep 15, 2011
Seeing interest rates were slowly going down, i would not have been locking in especially not paying fees when you had no clue when things would be done. You need to get with your agent and put pressure to have the seller complete the work. there is no reaosn you waited this long, you should have been riding your agent, your agent should have been riding the listing agent and the listing agent should have been riding the seller to get this doen and closed. You can not wait for others, you need to take control. good luck working things out
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
2 votes
Maria Gilda…, Agent, Manchester, CT
Thu Sep 15, 2011
Hi Jen,

I am not sure if I am going to put the blame on the realtor as I don't know how many days lapsed from the homes inspection up to the final walk-through. There could have been circumstances which happened in between which caused the mold formation.

Now, with regard to incurring all the cost to have the interest locked-in because the closing is stalled and delayed by the relocation company, I would think that your attorney would discuss this with the relocation company's attorney and have them pay for the costs because you are not in default.

Moreover, banks or lenders have different policies regarding lock-in rates. Your loan officer should have advised you as to the repercussions of not closing on time especially for three months. Interest rates fluctuate and 3 months is such a long delay.

I hope that you will not end up paying the fees because you are not at fault here.

Best.

Maria
1 vote
Tim Page, , 99037
Mon Nov 7, 2011
I'm sorry about that. I'm really not in any situation to provide legal advise. I'm just an appraiser. But from the sounds of it, you may want to look into it. This is one reason why I recommend not paying all cash for a home when you first purchase it .This is because the bank doesn't care as much, because it was all of your money. It's best to have the bank on your side when things like this go South. Your attorney is your best bet. Try this website to learn more. http://www.epa.gov/mold/
0 votes
Jharsma, Home Buyer, Camillus, NY
Mon Nov 7, 2011
Hi Tim..
I wast the second on the post about the mold
this is our 4th house purchase in 25 years.
we paid cash for this house...sown sized because our children were leaving the home from finishing college.
so there was no bank involved...but we did have an appraisal. and the mold was NOT there...
the rain came in and sat for must be some time in the basement.
the fire department pumped it out, then the mold.
We only discovered it the night of the walk thru and even our lawyer pushed us to close.
Is there any recourse that we have with any agency ? This was/ is a health issue.
we paid $ 8,000 to get the water not to come in....have been trying to kill the mold for 4 months.
I have read it has roots like a plant.
Not fair that this person probably didn't live there because she knew.
Legally do I have any recourse either thru an agency or could I go to small claims court ?
0 votes
Tim Page, , 99037
Mon Nov 7, 2011
If there is a mold problem or something like that, why in the world would you want to buy someone elses problem. I'll tell you why everyone is dragging their feet. The bank does not want to be the owner of the home when you find out that the mold will never go away and your kids and you are getting sick. If you're a first time home buyer and there is a mold issue and no one can figure out what to do, don't buy the home. There are plenty of other homes to pick from. Look around. Don't buy. Please trust me on this one. I've seen other home owners that are trying to refinance that bought problems that are not fixable and most of them have a very hard time selling or refinancing. Many of these homes go back to the bank only to ruin your credit.
0 votes
Jharsma, Home Buyer, Camillus, NY
Mon Nov 7, 2011
Oh my God- the same thing happenened to us.
We purchased a house that the basement was dry in the winter, we had a HUGE rain storm.
We also had it inspected and the house was not being lived in by the owner.
From what our neighbors said, the fire department had to come and pump out the basement
way after the storm, which inturn, made black mold all over the walls !!
We did our walk thru the night before closing. Our realestate agent just said TOO Bad - you have to close
or you will be sued. I left my beautiful home to go into a nasty mess. i have asthma and I had to sleep next to the window for 1 1/2 months before we had someone come and put a product around the outside of the house to seal the water from coming in...$ 8,000. The previous owner didn't pay a cent. My lawyer - the realestate lawyer also told us we would be sued. It's been 4 months and this house was never maintenanced on everything. It has been a nightmare. Contact me if you would like. 3 /4 of us are sick and the mold smells like it's still there...my husband has filled 2 - 40 foot containers from everything that can suck in the mold.
Sheetrock, carpeting, wood on the ceiling....it never ends....we are so much in debt. If your lawyer can get you out of the move...DO IT.
0 votes
Jen, Home Owner, Syracuse, NY
Fri Sep 16, 2011
opps. I did a house inspection but that was back in May. The sellers realtor never checked the house after my offer was in and when we went back to check on the house in July that was when the basement was wet/covered in mold. We got a lot of rain in April/May so the basement must have gotten wet and because it was completely locked up for months the mold became visable. The house has also been vacant for a year.

One of my favorite things about the house was the nice/dry basement so this was a complete shock.

They had a mold remedition team come in and remove the mold back in July. But it's been 2+ months since the removal and Link Environmental (air quality team) still has not approved it mold free and all that we know is that it is still failing the air quality test.
When we asked the seller's realtor/attorney they kept saying it was almost done week after week.
0 votes
Jen, Home Owner, Syracuse, NY
Fri Sep 16, 2011
I have been calling everyone everyday. I asked HSBC for options and my attorney, everyday telling them I can't afford the fees. I did a hold inspection, and the basement was completely dry. THe house is vacant and the sellers realtor NEVER checked on the house so 2 months later when we were going to close it was a huge surprise. The house was sealed all winter/spring so the moisture in the basement led to the mold.


My realtor calls the sellers realtor daily and she just says she has a lot of people working on it as fast as they can and will never give any more information.

I have not been waiting on anyone, I have done everything I can do every single day.
0 votes
Mary Ann Bar…, Agent, Canastota, NY
Thu Sep 15, 2011
We live in Upstate New York and all home inspectors not only have to be licensed here but mold is a part of their expertise. Mold in New York is an issue we deal with regularly due to the changing seasons.
0 votes
Ed Kaminsky, Agent, Hermosa Beach, CA
Thu Sep 15, 2011
Here in California, the home inspection is actually separated from a mold inspection. Mold inspections cost an average of an additional $350. We always recommend to our clients that they obtain professional inspections to satisfy any concern they may have with the house. There are separate plumbing inspections, heating inspections, asbestos inspections and more. I'm not aware of how your initial walk through was performed, and what the recommendations came back like on your home inspection report, nor if you were working with an agent or not. In our state, it is the seller's legal responsibility to disclose to the buyer any known material facts so that the buyer is armed with the right information in order to move forward with subsequent inspections of red-flag type items. If properly disclosed by the seller and the buyer did not move forward with further inspection, then signed off on their inspection contingency, and an issue such as this arises, the case most likely would meet in front of an arbitrator to determine fault levels and responsibilities for recompense, etc. I'm very sorry you had to experience this. What a very frustrating and unhappy homeownership experience for you. I do hope it gets resolved quickly and you can move on to enjoy your home.
0 votes
Mary Ann Bar…, Agent, Canastota, NY
Thu Sep 15, 2011
I would ask 1st where was your real estate agent through all this, I know when I have a buyer with a signed contract I am in constant contact with the loan officer and the attorney all the way to the seat at the closing table. Did you have a home inspection done? If so why did the inspector not note any mold issues and if so why did your agent not go over the inspection report with you. I am a very pro active realtor and I would say the relocation company should have given a date of when the work was going to be started and completed, or if you really wanted the home, the purchase contract maybe should have been renegotiated, after you had 2 estimates done for mold remediation to give you a credit at close and you would have been able to have the work done and still went to closing without all the extra cost.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Sep 15, 2011
Without too many details and not being involved in the transaction, the blame may need to be split all around--unclear, do you have your own agent--was a home inspection conducted, and if so was any mold present during that inspection; were you dealing with a specific loan officer, if so did you ask about any other options, or were options offered/explained, so not to pay any fees; what about your attorney, was it known you weren't happy paying the fee...since none of us are directly involved in the transaction, and with some missing deatils, it would appear the blame should be shared equally by all parties...
0 votes
Rich Homer, Agent, NAPLES, FL
Thu Sep 15, 2011
Jen,

Your Realtor should have advised for a home inspection. The cost to the buyer is about $250.00 and should be written as a contingency in the contract. The inspection is usually the first thing done after the seller accepts the buyers offer, usually within 10 days. Soory for your bad experience and shame on your Realtor!
0 votes
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