Seller signed agreement to fix a drain issue over a year ago

8 Replies

I have a few questions regarding buyer/seller contracts at close. To give some background; I bought my rental property in Nov 2012 and on the day of closing did my final walk through of the house, while checking out the crawl space I noticed a small amount of water around a drain in the floor. I brought this up at closing and the seller signed a written agreement to fix the water issue.

In the past year and a half I have had over 10 contractors (delegated by the seller) take a look at the crawl space but have not heard anything after the first meeting and are unreachable when I follow up.

Has anyone had a similar issue?

How can I give the seller a nudge to complete the work?

Should I take her to small claims court? what are the typical fees? Do i need a lawyer?


This is my first post on BP, very excited to join this community!

@Mike Fiorese I would contact your attorney.

Is the seller not responding to you when you ask when the work will be complete?

@Brianna Schmidt She is impossible to reach by phone and rarely responds to emails. I have the signed document stating she would do the work so I hope that holds up in court.

I'm not sure if I should take her to court first or do the repairs myself then take her to court for reimbursement.


What a great first home buying experience!

That's ok, I still want to buy more : )

I would take her to court! We got to have a lawyer here in Virginia / DC who can advise

I think the first step you need to take is to have a lawyer draft a letter. See if that gets the ball rolling.

@Mike Fiorese we are in a somewhat similar situation with our contractor. Last year he did a gut rehab and was supposed to rewire the entire house. He charged us for it and we paid him for it and just found out he never hired the sub to do it. We had a draft letter written, it should be delivered today, and was told to give him a few days to respond. Then we were told if he doesn't to pay for the work and bring him to court. I am not a lawyer but you might want to contact one and see what they suggest.

@Brianna Schmidt The seller's ears must have been ringing, she emailed me yesterday and requested I contact a reliable contractor and give her an esitmate. I plan on setting up an appointment early next week to get this resolved ASAP. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end.

@Justin Pierce A letter from a lawyer is a great idea, it still may come down to that.

@Mike Fiorese - That is great to hear! Hopefully she follows through without lawyers getting involved

The lesson here is to never close with work remaining un-done by the seller. Instead, either get the work done before closing (possibly with the contractor to be paid at closing) or get a credit from the seller for the work. They they're out of the picture. As you've learned, they have zero incentive to do work after closing.

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