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cfoley1
Borat
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Joined: 07/01/2014 09:44 PM EDT
Messages: 7
Location: Long Island, NY
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Client did his final walk through after a heavy rain fall, found an inch of water in the finished basement. There were some signs of prior leaking during the inspection but everything tested dry during a light rain at time of inspection. Client refused to close on the house and feels that this house has been leaking during heavy rains prior to this day and the home owner knew about it and hid that fact. He wants to get his deposit back and walk away. The lawyers are not really saying he can , rather wanting to get estimates on how to prevent future flooding BUT not allowing contractors to cut pieces of drywall to get view of foundation etc. The lawyer even asked me to take another look. The drywall has to be removed, we dont do invasive inspections anyway. My question is , does this flooding incident give the buyer the right to walk away and get his deposit back. I think it should, but doesnt seem that easy for my former client. Any insight on this legal part of it or experiences with similar incidents from Inspectors or RE agents.
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Nathan
King
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
Messages: 5244
Location: Carmel, IN
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The seller is of course responsible for maintaining the condition of the property, but rather than bore you with the obvious, let me give you the three most likely results of this situation in terms of the typical purchase agreement;


1. The condition of the home changed. If the sellers fix it, the buyer is still responsible to close or they lose their deposit.

2. If the buyers simply don't feel comfortable and believe the water problem will persist, they can walk away and lose their deposit.

3. If the buyers feel there has been material misrepresentation as to the condition of the home, they should have the attorney involved put that in writing to the other side and hope they just cancel the agreement and return the deposit...there's of course a chance that they don't and it could go to court.


Agents outside of New York Please Note: when we're talking about the "attorneys", we're not talking about bringing attorneys into a typical transaction, we're referring to the attorneys who are already involved as is typical in that market.

P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
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cfoley1
Borat
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Joined: 07/01/2014 09:44 PM EDT
Messages: 7
Location: Long Island, NY
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Quite interesting. Thanx for the info.
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Nathan
King
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
Messages: 5244
Location: Carmel, IN
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Now that we've gotten the contractual matters out of the way, what do you really think? Has the thing flooded before? Are they opposed to the investigatory drywall demo because they're hiding something?

You can give your gut feeling on this one.

P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
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ddhoffman
The HOFF
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Joined: 06/21/2014 04:22 PM EDT
Messages: 79
Location: Northern California
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If they don't want to allow the sheet rock to be opened up I would demand that as a precondition to accepting repair because it is very likely that this wasn't the first time - what changed to make this the first time it flooded? I wouldn't believe it for a second that this never happened before unless you can prove that something changed and caused it this time and this never was the case before.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote." - Benjamin Franklin
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty!
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cfoley1
Borat
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Joined: 07/01/2014 09:44 PM EDT
Messages: 7
Location: Long Island, NY
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I feel that this isnt the first time it leaked, i found prior repairs and even stated in report possible areas of leaks that can not be seen due to limited view - drywall covered patches etc. Probably leaks in hard rainfalls only. One would think the owner would welcome the walls be opened up, something is being hidden - The Truth.
I dont feel worried about lawsuit , I explained everything in the report but still feel my former client is getting the run around.
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ddhoffman
The HOFF
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Joined: 06/21/2014 04:22 PM EDT
Messages: 79
Location: Northern California
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Actually - he is getting screwed!

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote." - Benjamin Franklin
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty!
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Bonnielelak
Ninja
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Joined: 07/24/2014 01:28 PM EDT
Messages: 38
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As a real estate agent in North Atlanta, looking at our contracts, it would allow the buyer to get his earnest money back because the home is not in the same condition as it was when the contract was written. Now granted ALL contracts are different. The agent should be able to help and protect their buyer.

Bonnie Lelak, Realtor
404-788-2580
www.northatlantarealestatesite.com
AmericanHome
The HOFF

Joined: 07/16/2014 09:54 AM EDT
Messages: 78
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WOW! Brings back memories of our current home, except the rains came after we closed and moved in. Had an inch of water in the basement and the sump pump wasn't working. Disclosure said basement was always dry and sump pump "never" ran. Inspection report had a check mark next to sump pump.

Turned out the receptacle for the pump was disconnected because the pump was shorted out! Replaced the sump pump and reconnected the receptacle.

When I met the neighbor on the side where the pump discharged I asked him if the pump ever ran. His answer: when it rains the pump runs for 2-3 days!

When I called the inspector and asked what the check mark meant on his report since the pump was non-operational. He said that because he couldn't operate the pump the check meant there was a pump present.

Which brings me to a question: How do you all inspect a sump pump? I'll tell you what I do after I see a couple of replies.

James Freed
President
American Home Inspection Company, LLC
Liberty, MO 64068
816-510-4734
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Leigh Gate
The HOFF
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Joined: 06/18/2014 09:02 PM EDT
Messages: 77
Location: Barrie, Ontario
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I check to see that one is there, if there is water in the well, and I lift the float to see if it starts up / pumps water.

If it is dry, rusty, failed etc I report it as such.... limitation, near end-of-life, defect respectively.

Leigh Gate
President
Home Advantage Inspections
www.HomeAdvantageInspections.ca
705-725-4815
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Nathan
King
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
Messages: 5244
Location: Carmel, IN
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This one has been a debate for a long time. Where do we go? Dump water in the pit? Do nothing?

P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
www.InspectionSuccess.net
www.RWSwarranty.com
www.InspectorServicesGroup.com
www.RecallChek.com
www.InspectorLab.com
www.InspectionSuperConference.com

Find a Certified Inspection Expert exclusively at www.InspectionCentral.net
Get your E&O Insurance at 20%+ off your current rates at www.RWSinsurance.com
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Greg Pownall
Wizard
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Joined: 07/01/2014 08:35 PM EDT
Messages: 174
Location: Fort Myers, Florida
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I think the Buyer has every right in the world to walk away. I mean, what good is a final walk through if something as this is not grounds for voiding the purchase ?
Just a bit of luck on the Buyers side of the timing of the rain. The Owner should make effort to repair. Imagine how ugly this could get after they closed, one PO'd Buyer.
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JimZ
Borat
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Joined: 10/21/2014 06:18 PM EDT
Messages: 10
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This is a real good example of making sure we state "signs of past water" and "dry at time of inspection" in the reports. It's almost impossible to to know what going to happen in the future. And for as long as some of these closings take, the future can be quite long.

Jim Zamiska
Franchise Owner / Certified Inspector
Pillar to Post Inspections
Jim.zamiska@pillartopost.com
www.pillartopost.com/jimzamiska
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Leigh Gate
The HOFF
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Joined: 06/18/2014 09:02 PM EDT
Messages: 77
Location: Barrie, Ontario
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A crazy but related story: I was in my own basement (townhouse) and smelled cigarettes - strongly! My neighbour's kids were having a party on Saturday while dad was away, and they were smoking in his house. After checking out my basement for the source of the cigarette smoke invasion, I found out it was coming through a pipe that connects our two sump pump pits!!

So I stuck my snake cam in there and it looks like our houses are joined at the sump - only 3.5 feet apart, and about an inch under the basement floor. Nice.

Leigh Gate
President
Home Advantage Inspections
www.HomeAdvantageInspections.ca
705-725-4815
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gfricke
The Big Lebowski
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Joined: 06/19/2014 09:51 PM EDT
Messages: 453
Location: St Petersburg, FL
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Pity it wasn't the smell of some other legal-if-used-medicinally-in-some-states product

Glenn Fricke
DG Construction & Inspections
727-642-2793
www.dgciflorida.com
www.mystpetersburghomeinspector.com
www.florida-home-inspector.us
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Home Inspections in St Petersburg, Tampa, Clearwater, Bradenton, Florida
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