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When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Posted by jonw9 (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 12, 12 at 8:33

I don't want to ramble, but I am in the midst of a home purchase (3rd attempt in 2 months) and I am trying to determine if I am being impatient/unreasonable, or if the seller(s) are off their rocker.

Just focusing on this purchase, it is a ~1600 sq. ft. ranch built in 1978. The home's disclosures stated the roof was ~15 years old on 50 year Elk shingles.

On 9/1 I had my inspection, and the first thing my inspector says is that the roof is shot, there has been some DIY patching in the valleys (Flex-Seal!?!) and he is surprised is isn't currently leaking (based on the attic inspection).

We take this info to the seller(s) who respond with "It still has some life left, 3-5 years." Perhaps, but that is a far cry from the 35 years they disclosed.

We agree to each bring in a roofer for a second opinion (and third) and replacement/repair quotes last weekend (9/8). Monday we get a call from the seller's agent that said "Your roofer talked to the seller and he said the roof was fine"

I was fuming, mostly at "my" roofer for talking to her. I finally get a hold of him that evening and he informs me that hid did not talk to the owner, the shingles are not Elk (Certainteed Organic, hence the failure), it looks over 20 years old (stapled on), the roof is shot and it would be ~$9,000 to replace, which should be done ASAP. At least I have confirmation that my inspector isn't crazy.

So we inquire about their roof estimate and were told they didn't get one. Now that they have seen our $9k quote, they want another second opinion. Wasn't that what the last 2 weeks were for?

The sellers are divorcing, and it is already a sticky situation, but having been lied to twice regarding the roof alone, I am wondering what else is there that has been missed.

What would you do?

Summary: Crazy, lying sellers not cooperating. House needs a new roof. Should I move forward or move along?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

They lied to you, their realtor lied to you?

What does your realtor say?

I think I'd be walking at this point. But it would be painful with the money already spent. But I couldn't trust anything they said anymore! The process is stressful enough without that!


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

We were in a similar situation with crazy sellers and a truth-evading realtor -- so we began communicating SOLELY in WRITING (email).

This is your best protection, and circumvents 'he said-she said' scenarios. Or as here, 'he said-she said-he said' scenarios. ;-)

Make your request that they replace the roof, with the supporting evidence as supplied by your roofing inspector listed in writing. Let them respond in writing and proceed from there.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

I'd walk. We bought our house last year - it was a foreclosure, so we didn't have any seller disclosures or recourse for anything that might be wrong. Our home inspector told us the valleys on our roof ( we have a tile roof and 9 valleys!) needed to be cleaned. Little did we know that they had been severly neglected for years - so neglected that they leaked because the "paper" under the tile was rotted. We had a roofing company come out and they took off every tile that was over a valley or peak and took off all of the flashings. They found that the roof had issues for quite some time and water had actually rotted the plywood underneath the paper. They cut out and replaced big sections of the plywood and replaced all of the paper underneath. Then we had to deal with potential mold..It was a nightmare. If your sellers aren't being upfront now, who knows what else they are lying about. Also, if they have improper, homemade repairs on the roof more than likely it's because it leaked. I wouldn't take the chance. Good luck...


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

DO NOT have the sellers replace the roof. Take a reduction in price and fix it yourself.

You need to decide if this house is worth the trouble. Is it unique in any way? Can you could find something comparable in the area?


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Let them know you are going to walk away from the deal unless they replace the roof (make sure it is done correctly, unlike last time).

There are so many other houses out there for sale.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

No, I'm with chispa.
Make an offer, 9-10k less than what your previous offer was (for roof replacement); but YOU hire and replace the roof. Do NOT have them do that.

A hassle for you? Yes, but you get the roof warranty; you get the choice of roof you want; you get to oversee the project, etc...

If you like the house and have the time, that is what I'd do (and we did that with our house 9 yrs ago with a divorcing couple who owed more on the house than the house was worth (even before the housing "crash").

If you don't have time, and there is an abundance of houses you like, walk.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

I do not intend on having them replace the roof, rather adjust price/concession to compensate for a roof replacement.

As for the lying about the roofer, I really have no way of knowing if it was the seller or their realtor. I have to assume it was the former because their realtor wanted to talk to the roofer herself.

My realtor says that the sellers are flakes, which happens sometimes, but thinks the selling realtor is trying to make the best out of a difficult situation.

The area is pretty picked over right now for what we are looking for. If we stop now, we will be hunting for an apartment until the spring (wesold our house, closing soon). This is our third choice in the area already (actually, we expanded our search area)

The rest of the inspection went fine. The foundation seems sound, exterior and windows in good shape. The roof was the only major issue.

I hate the game of "telephone" where I call my realtor, who calls theirs, who talks to them, and then wait for it to come back. I think it creates so much more drama in an already stressful situation.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

I hate the game of "telephone" where I call my realtor, who calls theirs, who talks to them, and then wait for it to come back. I think it creates so much more drama in an already stressful situation.

That's why we resorted to emails (with our agent forwarding them onwards to seller & seller's agent). It didn't really speed anything up, but it did put everyone on the same page as far as established facts about how things were proceeding. We were having similar issues with a broken furnace and couldn't tell who was lying: the sellers or their agent. Ugh.

I do believe, at least in our state, that an agent is required to forward all client communications to the other party when requested to do so. (Can the experts here weigh in on this?)

Definitely agree on reducing the offer rather than having sellers replace roof.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Usually, if a house needs work, that is reflected in the price. I have no idea why buyers always expect the seller to sell them a perfect house, or reduce the price to make it perfect. I am sure you are not paying asking price, you have already gotten the seller to agree to a lower price. They are divorcing, which may mean money is very tight for them. He's already worried about paying realtor fees, legal fees, alimony/child support, and now you want to take another $9k from him? If you feel you are "entitled" to this cost reduction, go ahead and ask for it, but they may be telling YOU to take a hike. If this were my house, the very most I would give you is reduction for just the area of the roof that was "failing" - not the WHOLE ROOF. Sure, there are lots of other houses, and sure, it's the seller's loss if you don't buy - but it's also your loss if this is THE house for you, and you have to start all over again. If I felt I was getting a good price for the house and I liked it well enough, I would still go ahead and purchase it and suck it up. I also wouldn't put a whole lot of faith in what a roofing contractor is telling me - because afterall, they are looking to get a job out of it.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Your lender might require a roof certification if the appraiser thinks the roof only has 3 to 5 years life left.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Take a deep breath and a step back. It's frustrating, but keep in mind, you're probably seeing these people at their absolute worst.

It's just a business transaction. Offer the price you think is fair, based on the roof issues. Or offer more if you really like the house. Move on if it seems appropriate.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

cas66ragtop: "Usually, if a house needs work, that is reflected in the price." Remember that the disclosure was 50-yr shingles, which they are not.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Correct. I came into the deal thinking I had ~35 years left on the roof (knowing that nothing is absolute, but it wouldn't require immediate replacement).

I am not using this as a bargaining token to lower a already lowball price. Regardless of who buys this house, the roof is shot. And really, who replaces half a roof? Especially a roof entirely covered with failed shingles that have a class action suit against the manufacturer?

So divorce/alimony/dog sitters, whatever, the issue remains. The wife agrees, their realtor is trying to talk sense, but the husband wants to argue.

I found out that they had another estimate done today, and the result was the same, but a $1000 more to replace.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

cas66ragtop,
The price they negotiated and agreed on (before the inspection) was based on the information that was supplied by the sellers that there was still plenty of life left on the roof. That was a blatant lie, so it isn't unreasonable to lower the offered price to reflect that.
It isn't a matter of expecting a perfect house, it's expecting to get the house that you were making an offer on.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

OP said:
"I hate the game of "telephone" where I call my realtor, who calls theirs, who talks to them, and then wait for it to come back. I think it creates so much more drama in an already stressful situation."

This the exact reason why I would rather go straight to a listing agent and use my own lawyer to review things. The first house we bought had 2 realtors involved and the telephine game was a pain, to the point that the sellers and us started talking privately!

Second house I went straight to listing agent. It worked out great for everybody.

Third house I did have a buyers agent because I was in a new town/state. Luckily we found a FSBO and our agent did the work. Again, it worked out great for all parties.

Come to a compromise on the roof amount. Sellers might not give you $9-10K, but might settle for $5k. Worth trying and if it doesn't work, then walk away.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Uh, where are the lawyers in all of this? At this point, the realtors should be on the sidelines since you are probably already in attorney review, no? If so, then have your lawyers present a formal request to their lawyer for a credit towards the roof repair. These negotiations are so much cleaner when buyers/sellers/realtors have limited interaction with one another.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

I could care less if a roof shingle is rated at 50 yrs versus 35 yrs - if it fails, it fails, end of story. Good luck getting the manufacturer to replace it if you are not the one who had it installed, and good luck finding the roofing company that did it, or holding them responsible for the remaining warranty you thought you had.

A few people are claiming the seller is lying and failed to disclose things. OK, lets think about this now. Is the seller the one who had the roof installed? If he bought the house from someone else and the roof was already there, then he is going by whatever the previous owner told him - so how can you fault him for saying the roof is 15 yrs old when he is simply telling you what he was told? And if he did have the roof installed, how can you prove the roofing company didn't tell him they installed 50 yr shingles when they actually installed something cheaper? You see what I am saying? Yes he my be flat-out lying, and misrepresenting the house, but he may also be totally innocent in this, you never know.

Most people here offered advice as if they were the buyer. I guess I am offering advice more based on if I were the seller. If I am happy with a purchase, I just buy it. If it needs work, I do it. I don't hold the previous owner responsible for bringing the house up to par, because I know that asking price was already representative of the house condition to begin with. I just think if I had my house "sold", and then another $9K loss reared it's ugly head, I would be more likely to lose the sale and hope it went better the next time around.

Maybe these sellers are desperate enough to close the deal that another $9K isn't going to kill them. Then again it may be the straw that broke the camel's back. It's a gamble. Are you willing to take the gamble and end up totally losing this house? Or are you more willing to keep the deal going and just pay for the roof yourself? Only you can decide this. Sorry if I came across too harsh - I was only suggesting if you go forward with this, you may kill the deal entirely. Good luck.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

This was alluded to above but I think it's important. The failing roof may affect your ability to get financing and homeowner's insurance. With the insurance you might get through closing but could be wacked during the psot closing insurance inspection. They can drop you or insist that you fix the roof and/or raise your premiums.

As you negotiate, your agent should remind the seller's agent that if the seller backs out, they will have to disclose the true condition of the roof to the next potential buyer.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Ditto on the home insurance concern. As soon as you put the application through for homeowner's insurance that company will send out an inspector to take pictures and confirm construction class and square footage. The first thing that will be looked at is the roof. Per your state's rules the insurance company will notify if there is a problem with the roof and will then give you so many days to fix/replace it or they will cancel in 45 days. This is especially so in high winds and hail areas such as we I am in Ill/WI. Address the roof before you buy.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

I think that whether you go forward with this deal or move on to another house, you might want to consider that every seller is going to potentially lie to you - either on purpose, by omission or out of ignorance. Find the best inspector you can and ask (them) a lot of questions.
best of luck!


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

cas66, I do appreciate your take on the situation. Putting myself in the owners shoes is a different view. However, if I was on the roof of my house, patching things with tar out of a spray can, I would be pretty aware of the conditions of the roof.

There could be a good bit of hurt feelings on his part, if/when he was told he bought a house with 50 year shingles, and when he goes to sell he is told that he was potentially "had" by the previous sellers. Part of his animosity may be at them, but he can't do anything about that now.

They brought in 2 more roofing companies, and they all said the same thing. Yes they are roofers, and they sell roofs, I understand that.

Perhaps there is another buyer willing to pay market value on a home, and suck up the cost of a new roof (which will now need to be disclosed). But that person isn't me.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

"Uh, where are the lawyers in all of this? At this point, the realtors should be on the sidelines since you are probably already in attorney review, no?"

Not every location has "attorney review" and attorneys involved in the initial contract negotiations and writing.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Today, the seller offered to put on a new roof himself. Not hire somebody, but himself. He said I would not be able to choose the color or the shingle, but it would pass inspection although I would not like it.

Based on his previous attempt at patching, I respectfully declined the offer, and elected to utilize my option of cancelling the contract.

Minutes later, I received a call back that the listing agent would like to speak to me. I was prompted not to answer any questions, but that she wanted to explain the seller's attitude and how he did take very good care of the place.

I decided I would make the call on my way home, as I have an hour to kill any way. The ship has sailed and my wife and I agreed to move on.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

"The ship has sailed and my wife and I agreed to move on."

Likely the best choice.

You might want to look for a 'buyers agent/broker.'

They represent you (the buyer) instead of the seller, though they are still paid from the sellers commission.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Wow! Sorry I ever doubted you. You are totally right to walk away in this situation. I wish you better luck on finding the next house, and I hope the next transaction will go very smoothly for you. I'm sorry so much of your time was wasted on this particular house. I'm sure the next house will be a whole lot better for you. Good luck.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Wow! You have to wonder where he's getting the shingles from. Definitely time to walk, good luck.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

As brickeyee pointed out, you might be in one of those areas without an attorney review period. Too bad, since so much of the negotiation angst would have been handled between the two lawyers. (Of course, I have known a few attorneys who have thrown oil into the fires during this period...whether through incompetence or through bullying....guess we must ultimately be our own advocates).

As a final note, don't be surprised if the sellers get back to you after they have had time to cool down and realize that other offers are not forthcoming. If this is the house you truly want, then hear them out. After all, if you liked the house enough to make an offer and absorb the cost of a building inspector, then a few negotiation snags should not get in your way.

By all means, keep on looking, but don't close the door on this house should the seller come around. I have a feeling that the seller's agent is scrambling to close this deal...and once all the dust of indignation has settled, you might still have a viable contract.

Let us know how this all unfolds.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

" Too bad, since so much of the negotiation angst would have been handled between the two lawyers."

They do not negotiate for free.

It is just one more thing to increase costs.

The NY method.

Most of the rest of the country negotiates their own contracts just fine.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

The NY method.

Most of the rest of the country negotiates their own contracts just fine.

Not sure what part of NY you are talking about Brickeyee, but attys in my area do not want to negotiate deals. They throw it back in the brokers hands, as it should be. They won't make up a contract until all the issues of the home inspection are settled.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

I did/do have a buyers agent. She was handling the back/forth with the listing agent. I spoke with the lister as part of her hail mary play at the end.

The sellers very well could come back and concede to my request. I am not sure we would jump at that offer now.

This back and forth delay has given us time to reassess, with the help of your responses above. I think if it were the perfect house, we would/could have looked past the issue, and worked on a compromise. The more we thought about it, it wasn't the right house, it would be a house right now.

In the rush have having someplace to move into after our closing, I think we were making some compromises for convenience. It is a nice house, and maybe we could eventually turn it into close to what we wanted.

I think we are going to put our active search on hold for a bit, and see what happens.

As for the lawyer, I know my agents office has one on staff, but I don't think they are typically involved in transactions here (MI).


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

"They won't make up a contract until all the issues of the home inspection are settled. "

There is no reason to be paying an attorney to grab a contract from "Poor's standard forms" and print it out with some changes a decent buyer and RE agent could have written.

It is just another 'attorney employment practice.'

Th NY way.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

In my opinion, a RE agent's negotiating skill is in uniting a willing seller with a willing buyer. Once they get the signatures on the dotted line, they should back out and let the RE attorneys handle the hard issues, especially when it comes to repairs, credits, etc.

Yes, it will cost you, but we're dealing with legal contracts here, not casual agreements. A good RE attorney is well-versed in protecting his/her client, and in this litigious climate we all need optimum protection. During the "attorney review" period, communication is kept formal, with all amendments being written and exchanged between all parties (buyers/sellers/agents/attorneys).

Linda117, I don't understand how "they (lawyers) won't make up a contract until all the issues of the home inspection are settled" You mean, there are no signatures on any legal documents anywhere... while a buyer spends money on an inspection and a seller takes his house off the market awaiting inspection results? Now if there ARE signatures on some sort of paper some where, then there IS a contract...whether that contract is drawn by the real estate agency or by the attorney. Either case, both buyers and sellers should be represented by an attorney, not by some RE agency looking out for their own interest. Also, during that inspection period, is any earnest/deposit money being held? If so, all the MORE reason to have a lawyer in one's court. You can rest assured that every real estate agency is always represented by counsel, to the max, from start to finish.

I am well-aware that some parts of the country do not have an "attorney review" period. What I find amazing is that anyone would willingly sign a RE agency's contract without the immediate review/alteration/acceptance by their attorney. I don't care how seemingly "safe" these contracts to buy are, or how innocuous that handshake to sell is, or how sincere that promise to fix something is. At the end of the day, it's all got to be in hard, cold legalese, from your own attorney, from the start.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Wow, Maremma,
I'd never sell to you....at least, not if you were requiring me to sign some document your attorney drew up.

I live in a state without attorney review where it is really, really uncommon to do anything outside of the RE contract through RE Agents. If I had a buyer insisting on using their contract made by their attorney, I wouldn't sell to them unless their price was premium enough for me to go find and hire an attorney to look out for me. If you are being so specific to INSIST on your attorney drawing up the documents, I'd be wondering what you were trying to hide.

At least, in my state.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Wow, Maremma,
I'd never sell to you....at least, not if you were requiring me to sign some document your attorney drew up.

I agree, an attorney is not necessary, I don't see how the above scenarios would be any different if an attorney had been involved somewhere.

I know people in states using attorneys, find it incredulous many of use don't use attorneys, but we still actually close and walk away happy.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Wow,Kirkhall, you completely misunderstood my post. The process usually begins with a standard RE agency contract signed by both parties. I thought I made that clear, but excuse me if I did not. That contract is submitted to BOTH the buyer and seller attorneys for review. Any changes to that contract must be mutually agreed upon. At no time is any one party trying to "hide" anything. In fact, a well-defined contract PROMOTES transparency, not obfuscates it.

The minute you, as a buyer or as a seller, inks your name to an agreement of sale, you have entered into a contract. Period. Why you would not want legal representation is beyond me. To me, the legal fee is negligible when considering possible pitfalls. Remember, the RE agency providing that contract is well-protected by a team of lawyers looking out for THEIR best interests.....not yours, be you buyer or seller.

One always has the option to not use a lawyer, even in my state. It's not mandatory like the seat belt law, yet oddly similar: you may never have an accident, but it's nice to know that the protection is there when you need it.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Personally, I can't imagine paying attorney fees on top of the real estate agents' commissions, which is more than enough of a budget bite for most of us.

Maremma, in states without "attorney review" (where do they do this, btw? never heard of it), one doesn't sign a "real estate agency's contract", one signs a legally binding contract between buyer and seller, and if one has an agent (buyer or seller), the RE agent assists their client in negotiating the terms/alterations/timeframe/etc of that contract. I'm unclear what service one would be paying a lawyer to provide in addition to this?


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

In my state, when one works with a Realtor, not a real estate agent, one is required to use contracts, addendum, etc. drawn up by attorneys. These documents have been reviewed extensively. It's a very rare circumstance that something comes up that is not covered in the contract. The single time it happened to me, my broker insisted all of us put this topic in all contracts in the future. I've had attorneys for clients that found no issues with the various contracts, etc. I did have clients send the forms to an attorney. There was never an issue or addition. BTW-I am no longer a Realtor as I returned to a previous career.

Few people in this state use an attorney.

On the other hand, in our previous home state many used an attorney. In my experiences in that state, attorneys often and frequently placed such outrageous demands on sellers during the inspection process that many deals disappeared. My parents are a prime example. After lots of back and forth, a price was agreed upon. The buyers' attorney insisted that EVERYTHING in the inspection report be repaired. This include nonsense things like touching up deck stain, etc. My parents, the sellers, said no after much frustration. The buyers came back months later and ended up buying the house without an attorney. They also ended up paying more for it as my parents had multiple offers at the time. Similar things happened to a number of friends in that attorney review state.

Attorneys don't guarantee a smooth process. They are trained and paid to look for legal problems. Some, not all, will find a problem whether it exists or not.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

First, I apologize to Jonw9, because it appears his/her thread has been hijacked. Since they have already stated that they have moved on from the house, I will continue to hijack LOL

Maremma, to answer your questions:

Linda117, I don't understand how "they (lawyers) won't make up a contract until all the issues of the home inspection are settled" You mean, there are no signatures on any legal documents anywhere... while a buyer spends money on an inspection and a seller takes his house off the market awaiting inspection results?

Exactly! However, most agents, continue to show the house until the contract is signed, not until the inspection is done. Any offers that would come in at that time, USUALLY are back up offer. This doesnt mean that if a better offer comes in, even though the buyer has paid for an inspection, the seller cannot take it because THEY ARE NOT IN ANY TYPE OF CONTRACT AT THAT POINT, simply a good faith agreement. Some agents use a binder, which is not legally binding, some do not. Attorneys in my area do not want to negotiate deals. They want the issues of the home inspection worked out before a contract is drawn. Without everything being agreed upon, there is no reason to go into contract.

Now if there ARE signatures on some sort of paper some where, then there IS a contract...whether that contract is drawn by the real estate agency or by the attorney.

Either case, both buyers and sellers should be represented by an attorney, not by some RE agency looking out for their own interest.

I love when people say this. What makes you think that people arent being represented fairly by a realtor just because they are being paid? Car salesman are representing their own best interest, should you hire an atty before purchasing a car? You went on vacation, purchased a time share, did you consult your atty before you did that? How about your cell phone contract that you sign for two years. Consult your atty, im sure they would love the business. Realtors are making a living just like anyone else. Most are ethical people trying to make a living, not out to screw every person they come into contact with. The business is built on past business and personal referrals. If they were out for their own best interest, they would be out of business in no time.

Also, during that inspection period, is any earnest/deposit money being held? Not in my area.

If so, all the MORE reason to have a lawyer in one's court. You can rest assured that every real estate agency is always represented by counsel, to the max, from start to finish.

Really? Humm, I'll have to check into this, I think if I ever needed an attorney for one of my transactions because of something I did, I would have to hire my own.It certainly isnt provided to me free of charge.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

"In my opinion, a RE agent's negotiating skill is in uniting a willing seller with a willing buyer. Once they get the signatures on the dotted line, they should back out and let the RE attorneys handle the hard issues, especially when it comes to repairs, credits, etc. "

The terms of theagreemet are the most important part of thesae.

In areas that us RE negotiating the signed contract is valid ad done at that point (in the places with 'attorney review' it is one more excuse to re-open negotiations.

Selling RE is NOT all that complicated the vast majority of the time, and you are free to include just about anything you want if both parties agree.

In many cases settlements are conducted by attorneys since they are well aware of the varied recording requirements in the jurudisction.

Paper size, type font, format. wording, etc. all vary from place to place.

It took an out of state RE attorney at a credit union four tries to get a second trust deed of re-subordination correct in Virginia.
The Clerk of the Court rejected it tree times for various formatting errors (once for no cover page, once for font size, once for incorrect wording).

My attorney wife was getting really pissed off at driving back and forth from Washington, DC to Fairfax, VA.

She is well aware of how to determine the statutorily required formatting, unlike the lackey at the credit union.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

The buyers' attorney insisted that EVERYTHING in the inspection report be repaired.

That seems just crazy to me -- isn't that call up to the buyer themself? This is definitely a case of the attorney acting against the best interests of their client.

I don't understand how "they (lawyers) won't make up a contract until all the issues of the home inspection are settled" You mean, there are no signatures on any legal documents anywhere... while a buyer spends money on an inspection and a seller takes his house off the market awaiting inspection results?

We're selling our house right now and we did indeed have to sign a binding contract and get the earnest money deposited before the inspection period could begin.

Until the buyer gets the inspection results back and contacts us with any requests for re-negotiation (or not), we are listed as "pending: continue to show" and are collecting back-up offers -- the house is not technically off the market until the final closing papers are signed, although we are legally committed to our contracted buyer until that time and would pay a stiff penalty for reneging.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

"The minute you, as a buyer or as a seller, inks your name to an agreement of sale, you have entered into a contract. Period."

WRONG.

It is not a contract until the other party accepts it and signs.

Until that point it is an offer.
The other party can do as they want with the offer.

Accept it by signing, alter it and return it as a counter offer, or just ignore it.

A contract is established when BOTH parties agree and sign the document without alteration.

"The buyers' attorney insisted that EVERYTHING in the inspection report be repaired."

I would tell them to start pounding sand on the spot.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

What Brickeyee Said!


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

circuspeanut: re: isn't that call up to the buyers? It should be. In this instance it was a case of naive buyers listening to an overzealous or lazy attorney.

The property was a unique and desirable property in that it was a custom build in a lakefront community with a variety of housing prices and styles. The attorney was trying to apply principles that might work in a cookie-cutter neighborhood to something that was far different.

brickeyee--My parents did tell them no, but it was certainly stressful for them. We often wondered if that was just the attorney's standard reply to all inspections. There was also some question about whether he had actually looked at the inspection report. It did not seem to be the case. He also insisted my parents install Central Air in a home that had none (and the buyers knew this). As I said, he cost his clients thousands of dollars.

It did result in getting my parents more $, but I suspect they could have done without the stress.

The purpose of my example was to illustrate that using attorneys can, and does, create difficulties.

BTW--all of this happened prior to the RE crash.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

"The purpose of my example was to illustrate that using attorneys can, and does, create difficulties. "

Most likely not an RE attorney but a fool thinking they are looking out for their clients interests.

I have purchased and sold numerous houses over 30+ years (renovation/restoration business) and while I now have my attorney wife look over the contracts for an extra set of eyes, before I was married I did many of them on my own.

Anything out of the ordinary (like some lease with option to purchase) went through my attorney.

I also use an attorney when purchasing REO.

The bankers seem to be at least a little more responsive when their attorney is talking to my attorney.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

No worries about the hijack Linda! LOL.

This is all useful information. Although I don't think I will go searching for an attorney on the next transaction, I will be aware that I have the option.

For now, I guess I will just hang out in the apartment forum. The closing on the sale of our house is Wednesday, and we are now going to take our time shopping for the right new place. Probably in the spring when the supply picks up again.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Jonw, keep searching, dont wait til spring. Supply picks up in the spring, but so does the amount of buyers. The houses that come on the market in the fall or winter are the people that usually really want to sell.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Ditto what Linda said... We bought our house in December... low inventory, but also not many buyers, with sellers desperate to sell. We had good negotiations, and were able to buy in a neighborhood we didn't think we could. So, I'd keep your eyes peeled for something to come on in these next 6 months rather than waiting 6 months.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Excuse me while I take a break. All this pearl casting has worn me out.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Excuse me while I take a break. All this pearl casting has worn me out.

maremma, you gave your opinion others gave theirs, this is the great feature of a public forum. Each reader can decide what information to keep, what not to keep.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Pearl casting implies that you are offering something valuable. Unfortunately, not all information on this thread, no matter how stridently expressed, is not correct or valuable.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

We are still looking, but I mentioned the spring as a reference to when a good majority of houses leap onto the market (notice the cleverly avoided "spring" pun!).

We have some time so we can afford to be picky.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

"Today, the seller offered to put on a new roof himself. Not hire somebody, but himself. He said I would not be able to choose the color or the shingle, but it would pass inspection although I would not like it."

I would have walked too. If the roof leaked, who knows what type of water damage/mold you might have in the attic/walls. I also wouldn't like to be told I have to use a color/shingle that someone else chooses for MY house.

As for shopping for a house in December, thats what we did. Our house had been on the market since July. We weren't willing to pay the original asking price so we were watching it to see if the price would go down. It did. By making our offer in crappy weather (Jan), we got it for $50k off.

I'm glad we didn't wait until spring to purchase because I knew all the greenery and flowers would bring more buyers.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

Yeah, I am starting to see some of the house that weren't in out price range starting to come down $20,000 or more. I think in a couple of months maybe some prime deals will be available.

Once we are settled in the apartment, we will sit down and reassess priorities. Sometimes I get excited thinking about snagging a good deal and overlook certain things we really do want in a home.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

"Once we are settled in the apartment..."

If you are new to that are, take the time to look around.

A LOT.

There are many things RE agents are NOT allowed to discuss with their clients under Federal, State, and eve local laws.

You are on your own to discover the 'ins and pit' of the various neighborhoods.

YOU are the one that has to be comfortable living there.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

October 11, nearly a month after the deal had been called off, and I still don't have my "good faith" deposit back, as the homeowner has been "too busy" to sign the release of contract.

Obviously they haven't had many offers rolling in.However, the selling agent did mention to my agent that the owner has since put on a new roof, and had radon mitigation installed, and asked if we were still interested in the home. WTF!


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

I don't know what RE rules are in your state but aren't those sellers under legal compunction to return that money within a time frame?
What is your RE agent doing about this and theirs?
I would file complaint with the RE board, the RE office for the sellers' agent, and call the local district attorney for that particular area
THEY would not have that check in TX--all money would be held in escrow until the contract closed and funds transferred...
so the RE agent would be the one returning the check
Was your check CASHED?
I don't understand how they were entitled to do that, but did not read all the postings...


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

"The area is pretty picked over right now for what we are looking for. If we stop now, we will be hunting for an apartment until the spring (wesold our house, closing soon). "

jonw9, do you really LIKE the house? How about the location? We purchased a house that needed foundation poles, new roof, etc, but we did this because we liked the location.

Sometimes you don't get exactly what you want, but you end up with what you need.

A link that might be useful:

fengshui.about.com/od/realestatefengshui/bb/feng-shui-buy-new-home.htm


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

The check went to my agents agency, and was cashed and put into escrow. I was told that even after the closing date on the contract expired, a signature was needed to release the contract.

Early this week the RE lawyer got involved, and my money should be on its way. Their agent just kept saying "he is busy" or things to that effect. It is a divorce situation and he is being bitter. It isn't my fault, but I can totally see why she is leaving him.

As for the house, it wasn't THE house. It was acceptable, but left some to be desired, location wise, etc. It was a stop-gap home that we may have regretted.

We moved into the apartment last weekend, and are keeping an eye out on the listings, but nothing much has popped up in the last couple weeks.


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RE: When to Walk: Flakey Seller(s)

"keeping an eye out on the listings, but nothing much has popped up in the last couple weeks."

Find the most experienced local agent you can and let them look also.

I have purchased numerous properties that never made it into MLS.
I purchased then before they officially 'hit the market.'

Even the house I live in now.
I viewed it on Saturday before the first open house scheduled on Sunday (owners retreated to the back yard with kids and dog).

Offer made that evening.

Accepted Sunday morning.


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