Is there any recourse to a seller or a home inspector for issues with a home?

Asked by LindsayGM, Charlotte, NC Fri May 25, 2012

I recently closed on my home (less than a month) ago and have now found numerous issues that were not taken care of prior to my closing. According to my contract, the sellers were supposed to finish all of the areas that the home inspector stated was wrong with the home. None of the issues (structural beam replacement) were done and it almost looks like they just signed off on the home without doing any additional reinspection. This is going to cost me somewhere between $20-$30K to have fixed and I clearly don't have that kind of money. Is there anything that I can do about this because it doesn't seem like anyone is of help and I'm just supposed to live in a home that will fall down at some point.

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dave’s answer
dave, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Fri May 25, 2012
Lindsay,

i am sorry to hear about the issues you are having with your house. Unforutnately in the North Carolina offer to Purchase contract it does state that at closing the buyer accepts the home in the condition it is in now.

If you signed a due diligence repair request and agreement you MAY have some recourse. However; this is going to be something to take up with an attorney. Preferably the one that did the closing for you should know what legal rights you have.

The seller should have made you aware of the repairs being finished in a workmanlike condition and was to notify you in writing with documentation supporting that the repairs have been done. Your Realtor should have requested a copy of the invoices showing that and scheudled a reinspection prior to closing to verify that the work was completed as agreed upon.

The home isnpector has nothing to do with this. he did his job by doing the insopection and notifying you of what was wrong. You had the option to have him come back out for a reisnepction at an additional cost to you. On major repairs I usually do..something minor that you can tell by looking at it or turning on the water or flipping a sweithc I usually do not...But again this si something your Realtor should have advised you on.

The best answer here is unfortunatley to consult with an attorney and see what legal recourse, if any, you may have.

Dave diCecco
Realtor/Broker
http://www.davedicecco.com
0 votes
Daniel Fisher, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Fri May 25, 2012
Sorry to hear of your situation, Lindsay: I am sure it is frustrating.
If the home you bought was in NC, and you used the NC standard STANDARD FORM 2-T Revised 1/2012 © 1/2012, you should re-read Section 4, especially the all caps item 4(g) CLOSING SHALL CONSTITUTE ACCEPTANCE OF THE PROPERTY IN ITS THEN EXISTING CONDITION UNLESS PROVISION IS OTHERWISE MADE IN WRITING. Similar language is in earlier versions of the standard NC contract also. Bottom line is that BUYER , not the Seller is responsible for doing a re-inspection as part of Buyer's due diligence process and BEFORE Buyer closes on the property, or Buyer should make other provisions in writing; if you had a repair agreement signed with the Seller and they did not complete the work, you should show that and the other documents to an NC attorney and have them advise you on what to do.
The other options you have if you don't feel safe living there with the repairs that are needed is to 1) get several opinions about how to fix the damage, or 2) sell as-is with full disclosure to the new buyer. There are some very good structural engineers who may have different solutions to achieve structural stability (like adding a post or bracing or structural components) at much lower cost.. If you appreciate an answer, please give "thumbs up". For the most helpful answer, please say thanks with a "best answer" click.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri May 25, 2012
You might have a beef with the people who were supposed to do the repair.
I don't think you have a beef with the Sellers; because you should have signed a release after you did the FINAL WALK THRU, to make sure that the house was right. If you didn't do a final walk thru, you have only yourself to blame, (or maybe your Buyer's Agent).
If the work was SUPPOSED to be done, and the Contractors did not do it; that's your beef!

Good luck and may God bless

ps. You did have a Buyer's Agent representing you, right?
0 votes
The issue is that the repairs weren't done at all. One part of my inspection stated that they were supposed to replace a structural beam in the house and a licensed engineer was to sign off on it. I have the letter from the structural engineer but according to about 5 other professionals that I've had come look at the house, nothing was done and it should never have passed inspection. I did a final walk thru of my house but I'm clearly not a professional that is going to go in my crawl space and know if something is correct or not.
Flag Fri May 25, 2012
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