UPDATE: Realtor Peas:question about our house we sold in March

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Posted 7/25/2013 by zoeybug in NSBR Board
 

zoeybug
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Posted: 7/25/2013 10:36:36 PM
UPDATE:we heard from the buyer again
Original post:
We sold our home of eleven years to a young couple this March.This house was built in 1966 and when we owned it, we had have a substantial amount of work done on the foundation (pier and beam)both in 2003 and in 2007 . The work was warranted to us but not transferable.

Right before we sold the house, we completely painted it, replaced all of the carpeting, replaced the flooring in the kitchen with porcelain tile and repainted the cabinets - all if the appliances were stainless steel and less than two years old. We also had remodeled the master bath 18 months earlier. The house sold in seven days and we disclosed the work we had done on the foundation including the firm name and our warranty which clearly stated it wasn't transferable . Their inspector signed off on it and said the foundation was fine and although there was evidence of the work that had been done it was stable.
About a week ago, our realtor that listed our home received an email from the husband ( new owner) stating that they had done some massive remodeling including replacing all 3.5 baths, the flooring ( the oak floors were less than ten years old), an entire remodel of the kitchen and I'm not sure what else but the house was having significant foundation problems again . He kept repeating he found this very "troubling" and wants the name of the foundation company that did our repair work and a list of what was done. My husband feels that we shouldn't have to do that again because we've already provided it. Our realtor said it would be nice if we did but we certainly aren't obligated to.
My worry is this: from the tone of this email we're both concerned he is going to file suit against us even though the damage occurred after we sold the house. I'm pretty sure the damage to the foundation was caused by the massive amount of work they did ( one of our neighbors said there's a truck in front of the house almost every day). I'm also wondering if their contractor even looked at the foundation before he started ripping cabinets out and replacing flooring. Both times we did major work, the contractor had an engineer look at the foundation .

I'm sorry this is so long and detailed, I'm just worried about being sued, wondering if we should contact an attorney and if they even have a leg to stand on.
UPDATE:
This evening the realtor that listed our home we sold in March forwarded us an e-mail from the buyer. He is now claiming that our realtor and HIS realtor misrepresented the foundation and the warranty on the foundation. He claims that if he had known that the warranty was only good for one year after the second round of repairs in 2007 was done he would have had "his engineer" that he claims both realtors knew about, inspect the foundation and have the work done before closing . He is basing the claim on our realtor verbally telling him if additional work was needed it was covered by warranty.

Our realtor has been in business for years , is very good at what she does and I don't for one minute believe this. My husband looked over all if our paperwork ( we do have a copy of the inspection that THEY had done) and there us no mention of warranty; the inspector signed off on the foundation and according to our realtor it's a done deal. This email was cc 'd to both realtors and to an attorney in Florida ( we live in Texas ) that specializes on products liability . I might also add that the buyer is an executive with a huge insurance firm . Where do you think he's going with this? Making noise and bullying or are we headed to court?
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Nyla
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Posted: 7/25/2013 10:59:41 PM
Our state (not Texas) has a cover your butt document for realtors that all buyers must sign that basically says don't count on any realtor involved in the transaction for anything regarding your inspection or the condition of the property. They ONLY thing a realtor knows is how to market real estate. If it does go to court, your agents broker has errors & omissions insurance for the agent. I highly doubt that your experienced realtor committed fraud but it sounds like the buyer is going to make it a stressful situation. If he is going by something that he says was verbal, that will be very hard to prove. There is another part of our contract that says everything material needs to be in writing. If he was misinformed it was likely by his own agent. Good luck!

ETA: To clarify that I'm not in the OP's state.

zoeybug
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Posted: 7/25/2013 11:07:32 PM
I know inspectors in Texas (our state) are required to have E&O coverage but I don't know if brokers are. I'm hoping that her firm does have coverage . I still don't understand how he thinks our realtor could be misrepresenting the foundation if the damage was done AFTER we sold the house?
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Whovian
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Posted: 7/25/2013 11:12:26 PM
Sounds like buyer's remorse and the buyer is trying to pull something. I don't know what recourse the buyer actually has as the contracts are done and all the steps were taken. More than likely the buyer is probably disgruntled over whatever renovations are currently being done, and possibly the contractor is saying the problems were there before and that he isn't liable that the buyer would need to go after the previous company and homeowner.
I wouldn't sweat it too much at this point. Perhaps visit an attorney who handles these things for a free consult to see what the attorney thinks. Since you disclosed the info and their inspector signed off on it, I would think they are just trying to bully you. Even if it did make it to court, they'd probably get laughed out.

Oh, and verbal counts for nothing these days unless both parties agree there was a verbal. Since this isn't, the buyer has the paperwork and can see for himself the warranty and other legalities. All the buyer is really doing is pissing off both realtors and costing himself money in any fees he has to pay if he decides to pursue if further. Contact your realtor and ask for the SOP on their end for this. Then contact an attorney as a precaution if it makes you feel better.


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whovian
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I-95
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Posted: 7/25/2013 11:57:26 PM
Real estate laws are so different from State to State, but we sold a house in California a few years and Ca. has some pretty stringent laws. I don't remember all the details, but after the inspections were done, the buyer did a walk through and signed off on it, the house closed etc. Almost a year went by and we got an email from the buyer saying the electrical wiring in the garage was substandard and they had had to pay thousands of dollars to get the garage rewired and we should pay for it.

The thing was, DH had basically rigged up an extension cord across the beams to light his work bench. Not exactly what anyone would call 'electrical wiring'. Anyway, after the buyers made an offer and we accepted it, they asked if they could come by and take measurements etc. We said yes and they came over. During their visit my DH and the DH buyer spent a lot of time in the garage where DH had built a great workshop. DH asked if the new owner want him to rip out all the work benches and machine stands to make that area back into a regular space for a vehicle. The new buyer said no way he loved the idea of a fully finished workshop...DH pointed out the lighting and said 'well, I just hooked that extension cord up. I meant to have the place rewired with proper lighting, but never got around to it, and we were going to clear the workshop out so you could put a car in the space...but if you want it left like this, no problem, but you might want to do something about decent lighting. The new buyer said he would, but for now, don't do anything with the area, he'd fix it all up once they moved in...uh huh, then I guess when he got around to it, he discovered how much it would cost and decided we should pay for it. DH sent him a note back and reminded him of the conversation and said he'd be glad to have someone come over to remove the entire workshop, and the offending electrical cord....turning it back into garage space, but they (the buyers) had signed off on the property as acceptable to them, so either deal with it, or sue us. We never heard from them again.

I don't know what your State laws are, but if the buyer signed off on a known issue, then you guys should be in the clear. I would think it would only be an issue if you knew about a problem and did not disclose it, that you might have something to worry about....but I'd ask a real estate attorney for some advice. Good luck. I know it's stressful. I was afraid we were about to get sued too.

melanell
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Posted: 7/26/2013 7:07:28 AM

Since you disclosed the info and their inspector signed off on it, I would think they are just trying to bully you.



This is the my line of thinking, as well. I hope it turns out to be nothing more that that. Best of luck!



irishscrappermom8
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Posted: 7/26/2013 12:10:17 PM
Sounds like a bully. He's trying to scare you into settling.




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Rhondito
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Posted: 7/26/2013 1:41:56 PM

He is basing the claim on our realtor verbally telling him if additional work was needed it was covered by warranty.


His word against hers. He should have gotten the information in writing.


Since you disclosed the info and their inspector signed off on it, I would think they are just trying to bully you.


I agree with this.


Rhonda



awkward
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Posted: 7/26/2013 3:40:48 PM
Can u insert "Dallas" into your title?

The realtors we worked with in TX had some extensive forms we signed withholding them from liability.

If anything it would be the inspector on the hook.

Yep, he's bullying you.

lascrapper
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Posted: 7/26/2013 3:56:31 PM
I bet you're dealing with a bully.

When we sold our house here in MN, both parties signed an arbitration agreement at closing. Six weeks later, 7 inches of rain fell in a couple of days, impacting basements everywhere in our area, and the home we'd sold had several inches of water in the basement (personally I suspected the buyers had the sump pump unplugged, but that was just a suspicion on my part). Buyers claimed we'd concealed all kinds of prior problems. Buyers took us to arbitration over it, claiming, among other things, they had to replace carpet in the whole house and submitting bills for same--geez, never heard of a flooded basement requiring main floor carpet replacement before!

Although the experience was pretty stressful, the arbitrator r uled 100% in our favor, which meant the buyers had to pay the fees too. All we were out of pocket was a modest lawyer's bill, because at our realtor's suggestion we paid a real estate attorney to coach us prior to the hearing.

I hope your situation turns out as well. Sounds like buyers remorse to me!



CheleOh
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Posted: 7/26/2013 4:19:28 PM
Bully.

If it's not in writing, it's too bad... so sad.

If he's an insurance big-wig, he should know this.

Chele




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_Betsy_
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Posted: 7/26/2013 6:23:21 PM
The buyer is making a lot of noise about something that is NOT your problem.

You fully disclosed the issue. In the paperwork her was given, there was a on e-year warrantee that ran out 5 years ago.

It's not your fault his inspector didn't do the job properly.

TXDancermom
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Posted: 7/26/2013 8:11:32 PM
It sounds to me like he is being a bully.

when I sold my sisters home, there were all kinds of disclosures and I am fairly certain there was a clause in the contract that says the buyer is buying the property as is subject to their inspections, and any agreed upon repairs/allowances that are agreed upon following the inspections.

IF his realtor and he did not hire a competent inspector who adequately inspected the foundation, then that is HIS problem imho.

read the sales contract - your "out" should be there, and be prepared to get a lawyer to deflect his first salvo.

3kidmama
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Posted: 7/27/2013 12:57:09 PM
Sounds like he is being a bully, but my Dad recently went through something similar, got hauled into court and won - but it cost him LOTS of frustration and $$ to defend himself!

In Dad's case, he looked at a piece of business property which he knew (from having grown up in the area) that decades ago was a filling station. Most recently a small grocery store had been on the property and burned down.

Dad merely made an offer contingent on getting the property inspected to make sure there wasn't toxic, leaking underground tanks on the property from the decades old gas station. In his offer, he specifically put in writing that it was based on the property passing inspection.

Well, the property had 6 old underground tanks - 3 of which were leaking! This property was less than 50yds from an ecological sensitive area of the Mississippi river! Dad informed the seller he was no longer interested in the property. No money exchanged hands, nothing was signed other than the initial offer.

It didn't matter, both realtors (Dad's and the one selling the property) told the seller he didn't have a case. It was an offer that clearly stated it was based on passing inspection. The guy found an attorney who took the case on contingency and they sued by Dad.

Dad had to hire a lawyer to defend himself. It took a couple of yrs, but actually made it to court where they quickly lost. THE SELLER APPEALED! Dad had to continue legal fees, depositions, pay for the inspectors time to be his witness, etc - and again the seller lost the appeal. Finally! They were ordered to pay my Dad's legal fees, but the seller is bankrupt so too bad, my Dad (who continues to run a sm Mom/Pop hotel because even in his late 70yrs, they can't afford to retire) - is just out of the tens of thousands of dollars he spent to defend himself!

Bullies can manipulate the justice system in terrible ways. It's really too bad shifty lawyers are allowed to continue to practice and egg people on!

megmc
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Posted: 7/27/2013 1:11:47 PM
He has no case.

Whovian
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Posted: 8/26/2013 8:00:54 PM
Is there any further update on this?


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whovian
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emmafrost
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Posted: 8/26/2013 9:09:31 PM

we disclosed the work we had done on the foundation including the firm name and our warranty which clearly stated it wasn't transferable . Their inspector signed off on it and said the foundation was fine and although there was evidence of the work that had been done it was stable.



Their issue should be with their inspector who gave the OK, not you.







Mary Kay Lady
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Posted: 8/26/2013 11:37:46 PM

Bumping for an additional update.



www.marykay.com/sneff2

colormetawny
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Posted: 8/27/2013 1:40:33 PM
If it was disclosed on the seller disclosure then the buyer is out of luck.. I am not sure but uou could try to call your title company and see if this is something that would cover this situation.

Other than that I would send a letter that you followed the law disclosing the foundation issue and therefore is not your issue. The he said she said needs to be directed to the agent and their broker. He seems like the type that is willing or used to wearing people down to get what he wants.

Peppermintpatty
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Posted: 8/27/2013 2:20:55 PM
It is just them bullying you. You are off the hook, the inspector stated that the foundation was fine and you disclosed everything before closing and they accepted the house "as-is". They obviously don't understand that unless there is a warranty, the home's problems are now theirs as soon as the 3 day period is over.

They are screwed and they don't want to pay for any repairs.

Don't worry about this.





Spiffie
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Posted: 8/27/2013 2:34:35 PM
Over 10 years ago, my husband and I purchased an older home (in Alabama, we now are in FL). The sellers signed a form stating they had never had termite damage. Lo and behold, the bond company comes out after we closed on the house and told us that they had repaired the house due to termites once before. We contacted an attorney because the sellers effectively lied. But we were told it was our problem. Like buyer Beware.

We only lived there for 18 months and never had a problem, but never having owned a basement home before, we sure wouldn't have bought it knowing it had termites at one time.

So, I am thinking he is SOL and you shouldn't worry about it.




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