We had our Realtor schedule a showing for a FSBO home that she thought we would really like. We had our tour and loved the home. As we got to the basement we saw some foundation issues. We asked the seller more about the large diagonal crack in the wall and the vertical one about 10 feet down from it that was leaking. FSBO told us they had been there since forever (they had the new manufactured home placed on a basement foundation in 1996). She assured us they have never been much of an issue and are merely cosmetic. However it was suggested that before the appraisal they should be filled with epoxy so there are no issues getting financing. My husband said he would help do that as this was going to be his home so he wanted it done right. We put in an offer, it was countered and we accepted and had 12 days to get an inspection. My husband and dad virtually built our current home themselves so when they did their walk around they said that everything seemed to be in decent condition and it wasn’t necessary to pay a large sum for an inspection. This was a huge mistake because when FSBO gave us the keys to go in later in the week and fill the crack for her, my husband and dad found some big time problems. This foundation issue was not cosmetic as implied by FSBO, the home is sliding off the foundation and the south wall is leaning 3” out of plumb. When they walked outside to the back of the house they noticed the siding bowing big time where the foundation meets the bottom of the house. This wasn’t really noticed during our first tour because it was kind of dark out when we went for the showing. We spoke to our realtor and asked what to do as this is a big time issue. She said she would call a foundation specialist to see if he could come out and see what we are dealing with. She called and texted FSBO for 3 days straight to inform her we were having someone come out to give a free estimate. FSBO avoided all of the calls until 20 minutes before the specialist was scheduled to show. She pulled up in her driveway and was nothing short of pissed off. She said the crack wasn’t a big deal and we proceeded to tell her the reasons why it sure was. We know she had to have known this all of these years. There is absolutely no way she didn’t, not when you see the siding bowing. So the specialist arrives and she treats the poor man like garbage. She doesn’t go downstairs to listen to what he felt was the problem and then we heard her shatter something upstairs and vacuum it up. When she finally came downstairs all she said is “so what’s the deal what is this going to cost?” He explained it needed to have multiple support beams and the cost would be around $8,000. She was livid and we all agreed that this is something to sleep on and discuss at a later date. A couple days later I receive a call from my realtor saying that FSBO is refusing to fix the basement. I asked my realtor how she could get away with that? There wasn’t much of an explanation, if any. Later that night I remembered something. When we sold our house, we had to fill out a Real Estate Condition report and give it to the buyer within 10 days disclosing any and all known defects. If FSBO had done this she would have had to confess about the cracks and the extent of the damage. She never gave us this report at ALL. I told my realtor I found out it was against the law to not give this RECR to the buyers within 10 days of purchase. Again she didn’t say much. I thought for sure she would say something like “wow you are right you can really use that against her if she continues to refuse to fix the foundation”. But she always danced around it the million times I brought it up. I kept wondering why? Why wouldn’t A: she agree that this is a HUGE deal that FSBO didn’t give us this crucial report that would have made us think twice about waiving an inspection. B: She maybe bring it up to FSBO so we can at least get SOMETHNG acknowledging defects. But I think I finally found the reason tonight. I looked at our Residential Offer to Purchase contract and had an “ah ha” moment when I got to line 159. Line 159 reads: PROPERTY CONDITION REPRESENTATIONS: Seller represents to Buyer that as of the date of acceptance Seller has no notice or knowledge of Conditions Affecting the Property or Transaction (Lines 64-114) other than those identified Seller’s Real Estate Condition Report dated ____________________, which was received by Buyer prior to Buyer signing this Offer and which is made a part of this Offer by reference. (Then in a box it tells the person writing up the contract to complete date or strike as applicable. ) Well guess what? The line was never filled in!!! It was typed in on our contract for when we sold OUR house to OUR buyer. But why is it not filled out on the contract we have with FSBO?!!!!! I think I finally know why our realtor keeps avoiding this subject but now I am super curious for who is actually at fault over this one? Was it FSBO’s job to provide us that? Or was it our Realtors duty to demand that so we were protected and had knowledge of the defects we didn’t know the severity of? No matter whose fault it is, now we are going to be left buying a house and being socked with a $8,000 bill for a foundation repair that shouldn’t be our responsibility in my opinion. Yes we waived the inspection but at the end of the day, had we had been given that RECR, we would have at least had proof that FSBO was either A: Fully aware of the crack, and deemed it as cosmetic, or B: Fully aware of the crack and deemed it as a significant defect.
Another thing that really bothers me is that the FSBO shouted at us when we brought the foundation specialist in, “I said I was selling AS-IS!!!!” We have NEVER heard those words come out of her mouth and nowhere does it say it on the contract either. We desperately want this home for the space it offers but I really feel like we are being big time duped by a lot of parties involved in this transaction. Im looking for honest opinions on who is at fault for this one? Who would you side with if it went to Arbitration and it were your final decision? And is there any advice as to what we can do going forward? Thanks much.
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