What happens when the seller won’t make repairs?
06/02/2015 | Author: TAR Legal Staff
I made an offer on a home, and an inspector found several things that need to be repaired that weren’t listed on the seller’s disclosure. The seller refuses to make the repairs. Doesn’t he have to?
No. A professional inspection will often reveal items in need of repair that the seller didn’t know about. When that happens, you can propose an amendment to the contract requesting that the seller make specific repairs. However, the seller is not obligated to accept the amendment to make repairs.
If he does not accept the amendment, and if your contract includes a termination option, you have the right to terminate the contract prior to the option period’s expiration date.
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The fact that the buyer can walk away during the option for any reason (or no reason) is why, if my seller is making repairs, I have them hold off until the option period is over. Same for ordering surveys, HOA docs, anything that is going to cost the seller money. The next buyer might not care about those “repairs” and they will just be spending money they don’t have to spend.
As to the sellers disclosure the fact that an inspection was done needs to be added to the document but I don’t believe you need to change what’s “working or not working” based on what an inspector says. They are licensed to inspect but they are not licensed to do other things, such as fix HVAC, replace roofs, fix sprinklers, etc. The inspector’s opinion is just his opinion based on the guidelines that TREC makes him follow. Is the roof bad just because the inspector says so ... no, unless a professional roofer says so.
The buyer may terminate the contract during the option period irregardless of whether the seller makes repairs or not. The option period is an unrestricted right to terminate. So even if seller does choose to amend the contract by agreeing to repairs during the option period the buyer may still choose to terminate.
Doesn’t the seller have t then disclose it on the Seller’s Disclosure?
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