Hey r/realestate! Sorry for the long post in advance.
So me and my girlfriend have been looking to buy our first house (in Pennsylvania) for the past year and a half. Recently we found one we absolutely love in an area we wanted to be in, walk-able to the center of town. We came across an almost 200 year old house which instantly struck our interest as we love vintage homes. Its a great starter home. We contacted our agent to set up a showing. The first thing that struck me as odd was the sellers bought the house back in December and are already selling. Their agent said it was due to a family issue that required a different housing arrangement so they’re in a rush to sell.
Onto the first showing: We loved the house, it felt right being inside of it. I had new house blinders on and didn’t really look for problems. We saw the house a few more times and I had noticed there were some serious issues in the basement (it’s a partial basement, only under the living room) with the floor joists supporting the living room. So that was a major red flag for me. I scheduled another showing to bring a contractor friend over to assess this and without hesitation he said all the joists had to be replaced. They were deteriorated at both ends, most throughout.
We talked with our agent who offered the idea to put an offer in if we really love the house and when the sellers accept we bring in an engineer to write a report on the issue and then request a credit for the repair from the seller. Sounded good to us. The sellers were asking 25k more than they had paid for the house just six months ago. While I understand they are probably trying to recoup various fees and whatnot from buying the house, it’s not our problem they’re selling so soon. So we offered exactly what they paid for the house six months ago. The disclosure looked clean- under “do you know of any structural defects or deterioration?” They checked “no”. I figured maybe they were just clueless homeowners and couldn’t tell what damage laid beneath them. Anyway, they came back stating that they had done a few fixes while they lived there, including a new porch roof that was scheduled to be done in a few days. Their counter was 5k more than our offer on the condition that we pay to get the porch roof replaced, as it would “place an unfair financial burden on them”. Red flag 2. We stood firm at our offer and a few hours later they accepted..verbally. (Nothing was signed on their part)
I asked our agent if before we go any further maybe now is the time to see if they would be willing to cover the cost of the joist repair in the basement since they were apparently burdened financially by a roof that would cost roughly $700. I'd hate to pay an engineer and whatever inspectors to come in and write a report just for the sellers to turn around and decline the credit. She contacted their agent who said they knew of termite damage (which we knew from the disclosure) but it wasn’t there anymore. She beat around the bush a lot. Finally after our agent pushed enough, their agent sent an Engineer Report from January. Hm? But they claimed on the disclosure they knew of no structural damage? The report said what we already knew- the joists were in really bad shape and had to be fully replaced. Red flag 3- They lied on the disclosure.
So our agent jumped on their agent a little asking why this wasn’t brought to our attention earlier. She also asked if the sellers will be willing to credit the cost of the repairs. So here we sit, a week after our initial offer, waiting on the sellers to decide if they want to cover this. We would have walked by now but outside of the damage and morally empty sellers we absolutely love this house. I feel like the sellers are stuck now because no one in their right mind will buy the house with the problem unless the sellers credit it or fix it. I suppose this post was for me to vent because a week later we have no answers, no information. Our agent has tried to get any sort of confirmation but their agent says their sellers are being hesitant. Has anyone else ever dealt with a situation like this?
Thanks for reading! Any support or advice would be lovely.
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