After the home inspection, I met with the sellers agent. I had previously sent him my deposit check, but he decided he didn’t want to hold it. So my realtor insisted that the other realtor put the deposit directly in my hands particularly as it was a cashiers check. My realtor told me that he (sellers agent) would probably ask how the inspections went. He told me to answer the question because he knew we would be asking for a big credit.
The sellers agent took everything well. We ended up going back into the basement because he wanted to see what I was talking about. Then He put in a call to his client. She was worried that I was going to walk. I made it clear that I was interested provided that things were addressed.
My realtor followed up with him that Monday. Just so the timeline is clear. I did the home inspection first. The structural engineer wasn’t available for a week. The termite inspection was a few days after the structural engineering inspection. My realtor asked the sellers agent whether the seller going to fix anything. My realtor made it clear that he didn’t want me spending money on additional inspections if the seller had no intentions of fixing anything. The sellers agent told my realtor that he couldn’t go back to his client and request a credit if we didn’t have a contractor do an estimate for repairs. So the rest of the inspections went forward.
After we got an estimate, we put together a repair request for the seller. I had an itemized list of 15 things plus I requested a substantial credit.
The seller came back with a offer of a 5k credit and wasn’t offering to do anything on the list of repairs. The response we got was that she thought based upon the price we should have known this was an “as is” sale.
I do not understand how she could have possibly thought that. The house was priced for having to do updating I.e. re-doing bathrooms, kitchens, and improving I.e. mini splits. The price was too high for a house that had structural issues and wiring problems. If she wanted to sell it as it, then the price should have been 50k lower and she should have put in the listing that the house would require a 203k mortgage (made for rehabbing properties).
My response was that she was going to at the very least pay for the structural problems in the basement. With respect to some of the other findings like the knob and tube as well as asbestos, Those were things that should have been listed on the sellers disclosure. Had those things been listed as being present I wouldn’t have offered what I did. There is no way that the seller didn’t know about those items. I wanted her to address them because those two items had the greatest potential for preventing me from Obtaining homeowners insurance and hence a mortgage.
My realtor said that I couldn’t prove she knew about the knob and tube or asbestos . I told him that the legal standard is “know or should have known.” I also pointed out that most of the asbestos insulation was missing and some of the knob and tube wiring had been removed. As those items didn’t sprout legs and walk out of the basement, someone had clearly gone into the basement with the express purpose of removing these items. I’m sure whoever did so got paid by the seller at that time; therefore the seller should have known particularly as the seller had had the house since the 70‘s. The sellers disclosure should have said that there was asbestos but it was removed/remediate on xyz date by whatever company and all knob and tube was removed on abc date by whatever electricians did the work. (I have a theory as to why all of the knob and tube wasn’t removed, but more on that later.)
From the expression on my realtors face, I could tell it hadn’t occurred to him that if the seller addressed part of issue then that necessarily meant the seller had knowledge of the existence of that issue.
The sellers agent wasn’t happy about my response. I think he was trying to act like his client was being slandered. 🙄. The seller decided she would only give me a credit for the structural work in the basement but nothing else. She decided that she wasn’t going to fix the knob and tube because she didn’t believe that it would prevent,e from getting homeowners insurance.
Because the seller didn’t want to address the most important things. , I told my realtor to schedule more showings and to let the sellers agent know that. I also asked him to remind the other agent that if this deal was terminated they would now have to disclose the new information and that she would end up reducing the asking price by the amount of the repairs anyway. I didn’t counter with anything after her offer of an increased credit.
Meanwhile I got a denial letter from my homeowners insurance advising that they wouldn’t insure the new housing because of the knob and tube and that the wiring would have to be updated first.
The next day, the realtor advised that was being offered an additional 6k credit for the wiring. It didn’t matter because I still would be able to get homeowners insurance or a mortgage.
Meanwhile I got an appraisal on the property. The appraiser who is not a builder inspector, saw old water damage in the semi-finished 3rd floor. The problem had been addressed with a new roof. Rather than the appraiser requesting more info as to repairs (this info was available) he put a condition on the appraisal and was requiring a roof cert. those ain’t cheap. I had a problem with paying for one because 1. If the appraiser had done a water meter test on the spot he would have seen that it was an old leak. (This is precisely what the home inspector did) 2. Had he climbed on the roof, he would have realized it was a newer roof and clearly not leaking. 3. I had a licensed inspector go on the roof and say it was fine. 4. Appraisers aren’t licensed to be doing any type of inspections or rendering opinions.
I asked the bank if I could simply provide the portion of the home inspection report about the roof as proof that the roof was fine. For reasons unknown the loan processor was acting as though a licensed home inspector isn’t qualified to inspect or render opinions on roofs. She had no response when I asked her why she thought the appraiser was more qualified than a licensed home inspector to render an opinion on the state of a roof.
I had to get ugly with a fair number of people. Seriously, common sense! People think nothing of asking people to spend money wastefully. I eventuality got it straightened out…
2 Comments Add yours
Wow! I just discovered your blog after following you for a while on IG. You are one smart cookie, which can mostimes be exasperating as far as I can tell. Love your story. Love your writing style!
Thanks! That’s the occupational hazard of being a lawyer. I’m all about due diligence. It can be exasperating. I think it’s more exasperating for other people though. I tend to put people through their paces.
But in the end, it heads off more problems than it actually creates. So….