Buyer Sabotage Property While In Escrow

1 Reply

Hi BP Friends,

I'd like to get some help with my situation.  I'm selling my home and currently have buyer in escrow.  Inspections were done and he requested to have some repairs done which I was fine with it.  The repairs consisted of some dry rot on the chimney sidings and to have the electrical panel looked at by a license electrician to determine whether it's safe since the inspection report found "charred wires".  My agent had her general contractor come out and make the repairs including taking a look at the panel and changed out a couple breakers for proper sizing.  After the repairs, we had the pest company come out and cleared the repairs.  Also I went by and had the contractor walk me through his repairs, including looking at the panel.  Days after the inspection, the buyer and his agent came by the house (based on notification from the keybox), and did their own walk through and responded back saying that the smoke detectors were not working and the electrical panel needs major work.  He sent pictures of the electrical panel and smoke detectors and I was shocked!  One smoke detectors were taken off the ceiling and hanging by the wire, he said the wire was not connected.  The other smoke detector was said to not have a battery and taken off and left on the table.  The pictures of the electrical panel had a picture of the cover on, then another picture taken off and showing the breakers taken off with burnt marks, and left in the panel.  This was not how the electrical panel looked just 2 days prior to that when the contractor had finished work.  Why would an agent and buyer be conducting their own "inspection" of the home, especially going through the electrical box like that.  The smoke detectors were already inspected by the inspector and now they inspecting it again?

I truly believe the buyer and agent are deliberately causing damage to my house to force repairs before escrow closes.  Their offer came in at $6k over the asking price, and I counter-offered with $5k more which they accepted.  It's an all cash offer with a 10 day close, but it's gone beyond.  They're either wanting the value out of the overbid or something.   What can I do about this?  Can I back out of the contract?  What are my options?

If what you say is true I'd:

A) Hire a lawyer who will likely get a notarized letter from the inspector stating there was no damage as well as scare the heck out of the realtor and potential buyer

B) Report the buyer's realtor here: http://www.dre.ca.gov/Consumers/FileComplaint.html

If you want to back out of the contract I'd speak with the lawyer first. I'm assuming you could tell the buyer you're not doing any more work and if he wants to opt out he can (and then you and your lawyer can decide if he and his realtor are liable for the damage they supposedly caused).