Buying A Home
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HELP! Under contract, everyone lying.

Hi all! I'm new to this forum. My mom and I are currently under contract to purchase a mother/daughter house. We have never been home owners and have tried our best to do this correctly, but we are now finding that everyone is trying to screw us in one way or another. Unfortunately, we happen to be trustworthy people. A realtor showed us our "dream home".. fast forward, we hired their "recommended" inspector, bug guy, electrician, etc.

To make a long story short, we are realizing now that they are ALL friends... they literally go jogging together... including the man SELLING the house! The reason this is a problem is because we were four days away from closing when I went by with a friend (who happens to be a licensed contractor) to measure a few things. We walked down to the basement and there was a HUGE puddle of water.. I'm talking the size of a couch, and that's three days after it rained, I imagine it had been larger originally.

Fast forwarding again, we don't trust anybody anymore. The inspection report lists that there are no problems with the foundation, but it does say that the mold (which we knew about) is evidence of a "moisture issue". This is what they are using against us, because apparently this was supposed to alert us to the fact that there would be gigantic puddles in our basement. Sorry, but to me, a couch-sized puddle is not a "possible moisture issue." Our lawyer, who I've named Passive Patrick, is not fighting for us at all. He tells us what the other lawyer says, and then ASKS how we want to respond! I am the one on the phone with all of these crooked people now, and unfortunately this is not my area of expertise. I have brought two people over for estimates - one guy who says we need to fix XYZ and it will cost $7000, and the other guy says we need to fix ABC and it will cost about $14000. I will be sending these estimates to my lawyer to forward over to the seller, but they already made it clear they do NOT want to pay for this or lower the price of the house BECAUSE IT WAS NOT INITIALLY DISCUSSED DURING THE CONTRACT SIGNING and it is not in the inspection report! These people have started yelling at US when we confront them with these issues, and then pass us along to someone else.

I am writing because I need to know where we stand. This is my moms DREAM house, and I do not want her to lose it, but I also refuse to be taken advantage of. I guess what I need to know is this:

  • What are our rights as far as being Under Contract?
  • Can the seller back out?
  • Who must pay for these repairs, and what if they refuse?
  • How can we find a licensed contractor who will give us a true estimate and not just try to make extra money on two women who don't have knowledge of these jobs? (My contractor friend has a steady job that makes him unable to be hired by us).

I appreciate any advice that anyone can offer. We feel like everyone is taking advantage of us, and we no longer feel that we can trust anyone.. but we do absolutely love this house.

Re: HELP! Under contract, everyone lying.

  • Your contract should have had a period of time during which repairs could be discussed and agreed upon.  It sounds like that time period has passed which is why no one will discuss them with you.  If that is indeed the case I am not sure there is anything you can do other than back out of the sale and forfeit your earnest money and other monies you have paid towards inspections, etc.

    As far as contractors go, your scenario is not uncommon.  That is why it is recommended to always get multiple estimates.  If you want to move forward perhaps look for suggestions on Angie's List.

  • This is horrible. I feel really bad for you.

    I get that this is your dream home. However, if these people are working together to sell it and you already know of one significant problem, who's to say that there aren't others? I would be very very cautious about buying this home.

    Next, as PP stated, you could possible back out of the contract, but you should plan on walking away without your earnest money and any other costs you have paid for. It stinks for a seller when buyers do this, and they can pursue legal action against you. However, legal action is costly and time consuming. So, you have that in your favor.

    Also, sounds like you need to hire a REAL ESTATE attorney who is more proactive and aggressive. To find one who is worth their salt, try calling several mortage brokers and find out who they like to work with. Call several of them and then call all the names they give you. Then, ask for references and call those people.

    For inspectors and contractors, you NEVER choose who your agent recommends. Always do your own research and hire someone you know for certain isn't "in bed" with your REA. Check the BBB and also the ASHI.

    You have yourself in a pickle. And, unfortunately, only hard work and time on your part will get you out of it.

     

  • There are a million and one reasons and ways to get out of contract.  I suggest you do it.  You'll lose your earnest monies, and all other money involved but you're better off.  A leak in the basement is a huge problem of something larger.  

    First always review your inspector, be there when he inspects the property, if he's at the house for 45 minutes he's not doing his job.  Our inspector took 4 hours to look over our home.  

    Secondly, the seller is NEVER OBLIGATED to fix anything or make repairs.  Infact you should plan on them never doing so.  It's never in the best interest of the seller to use money they will never get back.  You should decided now if you want a move in ready home or a fixer upper.  

     

    Never use an agents suggested people, you don't know who's in bed with whom as you've learned.  Fire your current agent, they are shady as hell.  Find someone who will actively point out problems with the homes you are looking at.  An agent that always tells you "this is great home" all the time is lying to you, and doesn't respect you at all.

  • Do you have a realtor, other than the seller's?  If so, ask her/him for advice, especially about fraud lawsuits!  It will probably quickly get back to the seller's realtor, the seller, and the inspector that you are thinking of suing.  None of them want that, and it will probably make them a lot more cooperative.  Also ask how to get out of the contract without losing all your money.

    Is there a disclosure form, and does it list basement flooding as an issue?  I think a jury will agree that flooding is not the same as a "moisture issue."  If they say it's a new issue, well, it's still their house.  If there's been a substantial change since the disclosure, they have to make it right or let you out of the contract.  For example, if the house burned down after the inspection period but before you closed, they couldn't expect you to hold to the contract.

    If you don't have your own realtor, it's time to get Passive Patrick to step up to the plate.  Ask him how to get your money back, or the repairs made.  He's  a lawyer -- he's supposed to be giving you his opinion and professional advice.  If you just want a friend to listen to your ideas, you don't have to pay a hefty hourly fee for it.

    I'm not saying go through with a lawsuit ... I'm saying let it rear its ugly head.  The realtor and inspector, who will lose even if they win, will do anything they can to avoid it.

  • image ROFL ATTACK:

    Never use an agents suggested people, you don't know who's in bed with whom as you've learned.  Fire your current agent, they are shady as hell.  Find someone who will actively point out problems with the homes you are looking at.  An agent that always tells you "this is great home" all the time is lying to you, and doesn't respect you at all.

    All of this is so true. We looked at a house that was falling into a river. Cute as anything, looked great in the listing, and then we got there and our agent showed us the house but basically told us we'd be idiots if we put an offer in BECAUSE IT WAS FALLING INTO A RIVER (which of course, you couldn't see in the listing)! We also hired our own inspectors when we did finally a house we liked. Ask around for recs from friends and family next time.

    And I'd honestly walk. A PP gave some good suggestions (well, they sound good to me) about trying to find ways out without losing your money (worth a shot, at least). You don't want this house, you don't want to be dealing with these issues for the next however many years. Another dream home - that doesn't flood when it rains - will come along.

    Life is good today.
  • ^^^^

    Yup, dream homes don't leak!  Secondly you have no clue how long that leak has been there.  Just remember if water is involved it's a larger problem than finding where the water is coming in from.  It's a problem with insulation being molded, siding to be replaced, windowsills that leak.  Water is a huge enemy to a home.  Who knows maybe there's a leaking pipe which could be a sign that there's a crack or lime deposit building up.  Walking away is your only option.  Why buy a home from a liar? 

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