Author Topic: Termite inspection  (Read 1923 times)

phimag512

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Termite inspection
« on: October 03, 2019, 02:13:14 PM »
Hi,
My brother and I just sold our parents house. It was a very stressful experience, but it's finally behind us or so I thought. The realtor came back today and said The Buyer took off the back siding of the house and found termite damage. A month ago they had an inspector come out and everything passed for the termite inspection. They are saying that during the inspection they are unable to see it. Is this normal? They are asking for $4000 worth of repairs. I feel like this should fall on the inspection company, not us. We disclosed everything to the realtor and we had no knowledge of this damage. Is this a lost cause or do you think we are going to have to pay?

Phil

RWD

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Re: Termite inspection
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2019, 02:52:46 PM »
Have you already closed on the house? After close it's the buyer's house and they are on the hook for repairs.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Termite inspection
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2019, 03:27:07 PM »
If this was a case of your selling deceased relative's property and you disclosed this was inherited?

I am not a lawyer, but I suggest you consult with one if they try to come after you for any of this. They can ASK you to pay all they want... but I'm pretty sure a real estate attorney will tell them to go pound sand. Contact YOUR realtor and ask them if you are liable and confirm it was made clear in the paperwork that this was not your property (inherited) and all you knew was in the papers. 

Tell the new owners "so sorry, but we didn't know about the damage. We sold the house in good faith, and had no idea there was any damage or issues other than what was stated in the disclosure documents. You hired an inspector and they said it was fine. We're not responsible for any damage that was not found or visible during inspection. You may want to take it up with the inspector you hired for missing the damage, but we are not liable or paying for fixing any damage/repair work on a house we no longer own that was sold "as is" at this point."

Damages/issues that were not noticed/discovered during the inspection process are not your responsibility as they had inspectors out and no one knew there was any damage. That is what an inspection is for. They miss things sometimes and that's too bad, but the buyer is taking on all future discovery/repairs after they're the owners unless there was fraud/intentional misleading information given.

So say 6 months from now, if a pipe breaks due to a tree root that had grown into it (which takes decades, obviously happened before these people purchased the house) and causes $10K worth of repairs... is that going to be something they think you need to pay for too? Or there was water damage from a slow leak in an upstairs tub and they discover that a year from now? You can't be held liable for things you don't know about FOREVER. 

In most all cases it's any issues discovered once they are the owners (after closing) it's on them, unless you knew about the damage and covered it up intentionally.

And if your realtor tells you anything about how maybe you should pay them or give them something... do consult a real estate attorney to go over your paperwork. There's no way based on the facts as you presented that you should be liable for a penny.

You sold a house you did not live in, disclosed that information and any other info you likely knew (which likely wasn't much) and allowed inspection by potential buyers before purchase. Unless your dad told you a year ago that they'd had termites and you hid that damage yourself after inheriting the house - there is no way you are responsible for repairs after the buyers took possession.

phimag512

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Re: Termite inspection
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2019, 07:49:01 PM »
We have our estate lawyer working with us on this issue. You're right, if something happens in a couple months are they gonna come back to us for money damages. It's ridiculous. My brother is the executor of the estate, it was our fathers who passed away back in June. The house is sold and the new owners made settlement a couple weeks ago. I haven't heard anything yet from our realtor, so there is no updates. I just think it's odd that these inspections are allowed to be half assed because they technically can't see everything. Then what is the point of the inspection. Anyways, I'll update when I find out more.

Phil

phimag512

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Re: Termite inspection
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2019, 07:49:35 PM »
Have you already closed on the house? After close it's the buyer's house and they are on the hook for repairs.

That's what I thought lol

waltworks

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Re: Termite inspection
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2019, 08:03:45 PM »
We actually got sued by a buyer for something pretty much the same (he found asbestos debris from probably 50 years ago in the crawlspace that we knew nothing about).

The judge laughed him out of court. Literally. But I think his realtor and inspector both settled with him. Some people will always cave, so there are people who will try to take advantage of those folks.

What I'm trying to say is; tell them to go to hell.

-W

phimag512

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Re: Termite inspection
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2019, 10:57:54 AM »
We actually got sued by a buyer for something pretty much the same (he found asbestos debris from probably 50 years ago in the crawlspace that we knew nothing about).

The judge laughed him out of court. Literally. But I think his realtor and inspector both settled with him. Some people will always cave, so there are people who will try to take advantage of those folks.

What I'm trying to say is; tell them to go to hell.

-W

LOL sound advice 👍

SndcxxJ

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Re: Termite inspection
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2019, 10:44:14 PM »
The inspectors can see through walls so there will always be uninspected areas.  Typically, it's noted in the report if some areas are not inspected.  I totally agree to tell them to go to hell.  It might just be one of those things where they feel if doesn't hurt to ask.  They have no grounds to collect for this defect, especially after closing and after their inspection missed it.

ZaraThustra

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Re: Termite inspection
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2019, 06:44:35 AM »
Any updates on this issue?

Latent Defect laws are well settled.  Based on your posts, you don't purport to have any prior knowledge of the defect prior to sale, and buyer protected their interests via a termite inspection. 

Moreover, it's not your house.  It was the estate's house. 

Your state's uniform sales contract for real estate will have all kinds of language about unknown / undiscovered issues.  Buyer signed that contract. 

Also, it's a dirty little secret, but virtually every acre of land in most of the US supports several termite colonies.  So what?  It's the ultimate latent defect... very common and very hard to uncover.  So much so that most insurance policies don't cover any damage. 

If it wasn't the termites it would be water damage, if not water damage then a front foot fee or an undisclosed ground rent... what I'm saying is that every house is going to have issues, eventually.  It's reasonable for the buyer to be upset, and try to bluff a concession out of you.  It would be unreasonable to concede anything at this point.

DISCLAIMER: I'm an attorney, but not your attorney.  This was all just an academic discussion.