Seller responsibility to buyer if after 7.5 months there is water intrusion that we were unaware

Asked by Tiff, Alaska Tue Apr 1, 2008

of in the 9 years we owned the home? WE have never had any issues with water intrusion...we also had a building inspection done prior to the sell of the home...and that was not an issue brought up. WE also dropped the price of the home, as the home was older and would need some general maintenance done. WE did do the health and safety repairs that were needed before the contract was signed. I am wondering what responsibility do we have if we were unaware of any water issues?

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Curt, Both Buyer And Seller, California
Thu Aug 14, 2008
Makes no difference if "both parties were represented by licensed real estate agents". The sale of real estate IN ANY STATE requires DOCUMENTATION, and it makes zero difference who prepares the documents. Now, as for the leak/damage. The most important document you have is the home inspection. You didn't claim it on the disclosure, and the LICENSED home inspector didn't see it. Many home inspection will have a clause stating "integrity of roof not verified" or something to that affect. You don't say where the water intrusion is, but as long as all the proper documentation was filed up to and at the time of closing (disclosure), then you really have nothing to worry about. BURDEN OF PROOF IS ON THE BUYER. They will have to prove a) that the water problem was there at the time of the sale, and b) that you knew about it. Get and keep a copy of that home inspection.
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Tiff, , Alaska
Tue Apr 1, 2008
HI Kim...
Actually we went through a real estate sales person that represented both parties...the seller(us) and the buyer. And the buyers were part of the home inspection along with the appraiser...we feel pretty confident that we covered all bases...but want to make sure that we wont be legally bound by something that we were totally unaware of in the 9 years we owned this home. I guess we are mostly wondering if there would be any responsibility from us financially to fix this problem, since it is a new one and after the sell of the house at the beginning of September 2007.

Thanks for your previous answer.
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Kim Sexton, , 99503
Tue Apr 1, 2008
My first question would be this.... were both parties represented by licensed real estate sales persons?

If you truly had no kowledge and had all the inspections done and did what was asked, the buyer does not really have a legal leg to stand on. I would contact your licensee and let him/her know what is happening (if you had one)

if they want to persue the issue they need to contact their licensee and file a surety fund claim. (I doubt they will win any claims though)

If it was sold "For Sale By Owner" depending on what disclosures and conditions were in it, you very well may be liable.

Feel free to contact me if you need more info or assistance. Knowing the whole story always helps.
Thanks! Good Luck!
(Licensed Realtor in Alaska)
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