Home Selling in 45344>Question Details

Nettymaz, Both Buyer and Seller in Illinois

Sellers responsibility?

Asked by Nettymaz, Illinois Sun Dec 16, 2012

About 2 weeks after closing on the sale of our prior home our real estate agent contacted us and said the new owner was having plumbing issues. Since then we were told that they had to have pipes dug up in yard and they said part of the pipes were "shot" so were replaced costing the new owner about 3000.00 in repairs. We had no knowledge of any problems nor did we have any signs that we know of. The new owner opted not to have a home inspection. Now they are threatening to sue. Would we be responsible for the cost of these repairs?

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Edith Karoline Jasser’s answer
Well, as you have heard from other Realtors below, we are not attorneys and we cannot give legal advice, but we can advise you to consult with an experienced real estate attorney, did you not use one
during the selling process?

I see several problems,
first of all the buyers did not have an inspection, not your problem they waived it according to you.
although this pipe problem could have or could not have been detected by the inspector

Second you disclosed anything and everything you knew about your home, correct? in the Sellers
Disclosure, if you never had a problem with the plumbing, then there was nothing to disclose

Furthermore the new owners lived in the home for 2 weeks, nobody knows what happened during
those two weeks

Unless there was anything missing as far as the waiver not to have an inspection is not in writing?
or you missed anything on the disclosures, or other it looks like you cannot be held responsible.

But only an attorney after looking at all documents can advise you....

I have started more recently to encourage my buyers to have the sewer system checked often
they do not want to pay the fee, but the 150 $ add. fee are all worth it if there is a major problem
in the main sewer lines as they are the responsibility of the homeowner up to the street main
line in most towns and could be very expensive if replacement is required.....
For Sellers it is a good idea to at least have the sewer line checked by camera to make sure
that there is no major problem.....

So contact your or a real estate attorney to look over the disclosures the buyers waiver for the
inspection and give you assurance what your responsibility or non-responsibility is in your
case. Did the Buyer have his or her own Realtor and attorney in the sales contract/

Good luck to you.

Hope this helps...

Most Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life and your Chicago and Northern Illinois
and Relocation Expert
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
brick on side of home had crack from tree being next to it repaired before sale. since has resurfaced and owners have been in home 3 weeks, they had inspection
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 3, 2015
I agree with the other answers, the new owners probably won't go further than a threat to sue. If they do take this further, immediately contact an attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 17, 2012
Look up "patent" defect vs. "latent" defect. If a buyer sues a seller it's the obligation of the buyer to prove that the seller was aware of said defect, in this case, a latent defect. If you disclosed everything you knew about the home pursuant to ILL law they would have a hard time winning a case against you.

FYI, I'm not an attorney and this is not legal advise.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 16, 2012
You need to seek legal counsel, not the advice of agents who are prohibited from practicing law.

With that said, I've had threats of litigation on numerous occasions, but when I sell my investment homes I make sure my contracts are solid and that I've disclosed everything.

It's worth your time to seek consultation with legal counsel, but my guess is that the buyer is just upset and making threats they have no intention of following through with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 16, 2012
I doubt even a home inspection would have uncovered that problem, and it sounds like it was not a problem at the time anyway. It is easy to threaten to sue, anyone can do that, but when they speak to a lawyer they will find that they would have to prove that you committed fraud and knew about, and hid, the problem. The lawyer will explain the fruitlessness of even trying, but they can still threaten and hope you volunteer some money. I wouldn't.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 16, 2012
Assuming that you have laws and procedures similar to us;
you should be Okay:
1. you did not know about the conditions,
2. they did not opt for Inspections

If they serve you papers, you should contact an Attorney.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 16, 2012
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