Doesn't a home seller have any responsibilities when they are in a contract to sell a home?

Asked by Red_as_copper, Butte, MT Sat Dec 4, 2010

We have been under contract on a house that needs some repairs in order for us to get our FHA loan. The seller said they wouldn't fix anything or reduce the selling price. A 203k streamline loan was recommended to us, so we went that route. It sounded like a good idea at the time. Doesn't a seller have any responsibility to fix dangerous/safety conditions in a home like holes in wooden decks or missing railings? It seems like banks won't let you buy a fixer-upper any more, they want the work done now and by a contractor. They won't even let us do any repairs ourselves. Any advice because we are thinking about cutting our losses and walking away.

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Tom Priester’s answer
Tom Priester, Agent, Tequesta, FL
Sat Dec 11, 2010

It sound like you may have a relationship with an agent working on your behalf and you really need to get with them for answers to your questions. It would be highly unethical for another licensed agent to become involved when you have a relationship in place as we are bound by a Code of Ethics.

Your best bet is to sit down with your agent and go though everything in detail and make the appropriate decisions.

Best of Luck,

Tom Priester e-PRO
"Results Driven Real Estate"

Keller Williams Realty
561 308-0175
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0 votes
Paul Welden, Other Pro, Tempe, AZ
Fri Dec 10, 2010
Typically, the seller does not have any responsibility to repair any safety concerns, unless that was negotiated in the purchase contract. The 203k is a great option and has assisted tens of thousands of homebuyers this year alone! With the right team (experienced 203k lender, Realtor and Certified 203k Contractor), your 203k loan should be a walk in the park.

Contractor Directory for the FHA 203(k) loan
(480) 463-4663
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0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat Dec 4, 2010
Are you purchasing through a real estate agent and a reputable company. Many companies and agents will not accept a listing until certain minimal standards are met. The home must be neat, organized, clean, safe, etc.

Perhaps your best advocate would be a combination between both your buyer's agent and the listing agent. An "I don't care attitude" of this nature could end up as a foreclosure...........a united front consisting of both agents may get them to see the light.....

Good luck,

0 votes
Myra Gouger, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Sat Dec 4, 2010
It all depends on what was negotiated in your contract in the beginning. If the wording was "as is, where is" that means no repairs. If that wording was there, then the owner had no responsibility to fix anything. On the other hand, if you did not ask for any repairs in the contract even though it did not say "as is" they still have no obligation to fix anything. What was disclosed originally? What was asked for originally? That is what will govern what you receive for "fixing it up." FYI - you cannot do any repairs or anything else on the home until you own it. Depending on the severity of the needed repairs and the size of your Earnest Money deposit, I would see which is greater. If the repairs significantly outweigh the deposit, the smartest thing to do is to cut your losses and waive your EMD.
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