No Response from Homeowners and Homeowner's Attorney

9 Replies

Hello BP community!!  I am in need of some Legal Strategy, Comments, or even follow up questions regarding this situation I am in. Unfortunately, my attorney is hitting a wall and doesn't know how to proceed.

The homeowner and homeowner's attorney has not responded officially to a inspection reported that was submitted to them almost a month ago.  Every time we ask for some response from the opposing attorney, the attorney just says, "I'll talk to my clients", and that will be the end of that.  

The Situation:

The home inspection report was done, which has the following issues:

1. Active termite (which I believe was taken care of already, just need to see a documentation.)

2. Roof (which I am taking care of in my 203K streamline loan.)

3. The home needs to be cleared out with all the debris.  Especially The Bag of Vermiculite thats is sitting in the attic.

4. Basement has evidence of water and mold.

5.  Exposed electrical throughout the home.

6. Ejector pump is not working in the basement.

7. All proper permits must be provide (the OPRA report was done, there are obvious things that had been upgrade without showing up on the OPRA)

8. The new decking needs to be finished (which is in the process of being complete.)

9. Few window sills are missing on the home. 

The sellers realtor just had quotes drawn up for remediation but that was all.

After the 203k Home inspection:

1.  There are paint chipping and painting needs to be done throughout the exterior of the home, prior to closing.

Background of the Home:

This home never hit the MLS. It is situated in a B neighborhood on a cul de sac located about 1 mile away from a train station to NYC and half a mile to the main street. Asking price and agreed price is $299,000. The home is a 100 year old home, duplex side by side with a tenant already in place for $1700/month, and the tenant side is pretty much upgraded. It is a 2 bed, 1.75 bath, with EIK, living room, and dining room. The side I'll be living in is in need of a total upgrade, which is a 3 bed, 1.75 bath, EIK, huge living room, and access to the third floor and attic. The appraisal came back at $375,000, which doesn't include a unfinished third floor that has three bedrooms and full size bath (I plan on making that portion into a third apartment). With all expenses such as PITI, vacancies, Cap Ex, repairs, and MISC will be around $3400.

So, What can I DO?  

How can I advise my attorney to proceed? (that sound funny asking that question.  Im not saying she hasn't been good, but I guess she has never experience this situation.)  

Closing date is April 30.  Time is of the Essence!! 

Thanks Ahead of Time  Bigger Pockets Community!!!

Sounds like there is only 1 issue truly holding up settlement.

Are you two going to figure out a way to address the painting and close or sit around and wait for the contract to expire?

@Tom Gimer your exactly correct I’m thinking! I might have to go and paint it myself because they are not going to dish out the cash.   


Did you send them the inspection report only? Or did you send them a written notice of requested repairs?

Contracts typically have a deadline for inspections and a deadline for negotiation of repairs. If the Seller never agreed - in writing - to make certain repairs or improvements, then you have nothing to stand on and have to take your chances that they will do what you are hoping.

If you asked them to make repairs and they failed to agree - in writing - prior to the negotiation deadline, you have nothing to stand on. The contract may be terminated at your option or you can take your chances and proceed to closing. The lender won't approve the loan if any required repairs are not made (e.g. touch-up paint on any home built prior to 1978)

I'm guessing one of two things happened: you failed to specifically ask for repairs in writing or the seller failed to respond to your request to make repairs. In either case, if the contractual deadline has passed for negotiating, you can't really do anything but appeal to their good nature. Unfortunately, it sounds like they don't have a good nature.

There's also the chance they caught wind of what their home is worth and they're hoping you terminate the contract so they can make the improvements found in your inspection and then sell it for a higher price. You tried to take them for a profit but maybe they've turned the tables on you.

By the way, I would suggest you find a better attorney. Contracts are pretty cut-and-dry and easy to follow, especially for an attorney. He should be able to explain the contract and the affects thereof. The fact that you are asking complete strangers tells me he has failed miserably.

@Nathan G. you are correct as far as my attorney.  And I need to go back to the initial contract after giving them the home inspection asking  for concessions or remediations.  Maybe the verbage wasn’t clear. Although it will not make a difference at this point. 

I want to go ahead with the deal but the main issue now is the paint. How can I get that done?  They will not pay for it. How can I take matters in my own hands and handle this issue so that I can close by the 30th. 

Should I give money to my realtor to have it done? Can I just give the homeowner money to fix it? Any thoughts how I can make this into a win win situation?  

Thanks! @Tom Gimer  @Nathan G.

Get HML or private money and close.

Attorneys are not strategist - get out of mindset of my attorney does not know what to do. Knowing what to so is your part - your attorney may have input & suggestions & maybe great idea that you love but attorney not knowing what to do mindset has to go. IMO

Your doing what you should do imo. Looking for deals - learning - & Asking a community of like minded for ideas and input to jostle a idea-strategy that your comfortable with to... run past your attorney if needed.

You can contact the Sellers and request permission to do the painting yourself. Then it's up to you to either hire a contractor or paint the place yourself.

This is not legal advice and I am not an attorney. In California - Seller's don't have to respond to a request for repair. You're buying the home as is. If nothing was agreed to in writing for repairs then you're only in your due diligence period and can cancel if you cant get the loan or don't like the outcome and havent removed your contingencies. 

Alternatively, if they did agree to repairs and it's holding you from closing, you may want to do the repairs yourself (if they will let you). Then, ask for them to credit off the price. Otherwise, mediation or court after closing would likely be the next option. 

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