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Due Diligence, Disclosures and the Like

Due Diligence, Disclosures and the Like

backyard1Interesting question came through to me yesterday …

The buyer is in the midst of their inspection period and the home inspector found a crack in the post-tension slab. His opinion was it likely was cosmetic but, as all inspectors do, he suggested the crack be further evaluated by a specialist.

So the buyers, in their inspection request, asked to have the sellers get a specialist out there to evaluate the crack. The sellers are wondering whether they ought to do that.

My two cents, keeping in mind that I’m not an attorney, mileage may vary and people will sue for almost anything? If I were the sellers, there’s no way I would do it and for two very good reasons.

First, the inspection period (otherwise known as the due diligence period) is the buyers’ due diligence period. If the buyers see something they don’t like or that needs further evaluation, the onus is on them to get it done. And, really, if you’re a buyer, why would you trust a specialist hired by the other side rather than your own? That’s why you get inspections done in the first place.

Second, as things stand now, the sellers don’t have a disclosure issue on their hands. The inspector himself said it was cosmetic and that’s where things should stand as far as the sellers’ knowledge of the situation.

But let’s say the sellers do hire the specialist and he says there’s a serious problem with the foundation and the buyer decides to cancel. Suddenly, the sellers are going to find themselves having to disclose a major foundational issue on the sellers’ disclosures.

(We could get into debates about latent defects and things the sellers should have known, but that’s more for the bloodsuckers attorneys to squabble over.)

Speaking of disclosure … this was a friend asking, and it’s not my listing. All my suggestions were couched heavily in terms of talk to your agent, I’m not an attorney, this is solely what I think looking at it and any other tap dance I could think of.

I say that, though, for this reason. When you hire agent, you’re hiring them to do more than just list and sell your house. You’re hiring them for what they know that will protect you during the sale and hopefully bring the same to a successful conclusion.

Granted, if the sellers elect not to have a specialist look at the foundation, the buyers can cancel and get their earnest deposit back. So what? Find another buyer. They are out there. Just don’t screw yourself over as a seller bending over backward to please a buyer whose own agent doesn’t seem to know what he or she is doing.

One transaction, two somewhat clueless agents. Oh goody.

* * *

Apropos of today’s massive America’s Cup victory by Oracle USA, let’s check out some homes on the water in Ventana Lakes …

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