View Full Version : Idiot homebuyers (vent)

10-02-2006, 08:22 AM
Sorry to vent, but this is kind of driving me up the wall, and we're hoping it's all over.

The folks who just bought my house are apparently upset that the attached garage has a leaky door. No big mystery there, you can see daylight under the door, the weather seal on the side is torn, and it's been like that since I bought it. At one time the foundation along the side leaked a little too, which it may still do, but the bottom line is you get a little puddle of water when you get heavy rains. I never considered it a big problem, because it's a concrete floor, and it gets a whole lot wetter when I park my wet, snow-covered car in there.

Here's the rub: The new buyers had this crazy idea of turning the attached garage into a finished room (don't ask me why they need 5 rooms and only a detached garage, but I thought it was a crazy idea since the garage isn't insulated, either). I got a call from my agent Friday relaying a question they had about why the garage is wet. I told him the door leaks, you can see daylight under it, the gasket is torn, and this is hardly a mystery. I did mention the possibility the foundation leaks, but said that's how it was when I bought it (undisclosed to me, but I wasn't too concerned).

Well, he left a voice mail about an hour later saying the new buyers are demanding more money to fix the leaks. This is after I agreed to give them $2500 toward replacing the floor in the detached garage (which they knew was broken prior to their home inspection), paid for their home warranty, bought a new electric subpanel for the air conditioning, and ended up buying them a brand-new water heater since the old one sprung a leak 3 weeks before closing. Well, my fiancee can attest to my use of the euphemism for cow dung at that point, and she offered to call my agent back. He agreed that they were being pretty ridiculous asking for more money after all is said and done, and we're not obligated to disclose every nitpicky quirk about the place. He completely agrees that a small leak from the door in a garage is not a big deal, and they even had both a contractor and a home inspector looking over the garage. The contractor was supposed to be estimating the feasability of converting the garage into a room. Well, he's pretty sure they were just being idiots and testing the water to see if maybe I'm REALLY generous, but it's the first time he's ever had somebody come asking for more money after all is said and done. He doesn't think they have a leg to stand on if they attempt to go to small claims, since both the home inspector and contractor apparently missed the gaping holes around the door. We told him to convey that we're real sorry if it thwarts their plans to turn it into a room, but we sold it as a garage, and strangely enough, garages sometimes aren't all that dry, especially on a 45-year-old house. We also had him convey that this should be the last time we ever hear from them.

I'm pretty sure this is the last, but I still have this nagging feeling they might still try to go to court. If they do, I certainly hope we get a judge who thinks the term "gold digger" come to mind. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nopity.gif

10-02-2006, 08:40 AM
I'm convinced that buying (or selling) a house has to be among the worst experiences possible. Best luck to you in getting this all worked out.

10-02-2006, 09:33 AM
Up here, they would be taking the home inspector to small claims court or getting retribution from them. That is THEIR job to pick this stuff out. That is why they are paid.

You have nothing to worry about.

10-02-2006, 10:06 AM
I'm convinced that buying (or selling) a house has to be among the worst experiences possible. Best luck to you in getting this all worked out.

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Second only to building a house, so i've heard.

10-02-2006, 10:14 AM
Where does finding an electical short in an MGB fall in?

10-02-2006, 10:27 AM
Where does finding an electical short in an MGB fall in?

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A common, every day sort of annoyance, that. I'd rather chase down electrical issues any day than buy or sell another house. At least with the cars there's always the feeling that you will fix it eventually. With the house, you just never really trust that it will all work out.

10-02-2006, 10:49 AM
First and foremost, tell them "no way, no how." You should not be on the line for a condition that was evident and not addressed at the time of price negotiation. A judge will also likely side with you because they are trying to change the intended use of the garage. Hopefully, they'll find that some type of local rules/homeowner's association provisions prohibit this anyway. It should be a crime to turn a garage into a room (and punishable by death if a garage is simply used for storing junk while cars sit outside!)

Selling a house stinks. Luckily, my only experience with selling was a breeze. We put the condo in Seattle on the market, and the first day we received a full-price offer. It closed with no issues or questions.

Now when we purchased this house, the husband was already living in AZ for a new job. The wife and five kids were up here. We made an offer, she countered and we countered...she agreed to the price. On the day before the house was to close, our agent called us to say the woman had "decided not to sell." Evidently, she and her husband were having marital trouble and she didn't want to move to AZ.

So I told my agent: "That's fine, just remind her that since she's already signed the papers, she needs to pay the commissions to both you and the selling agent even if she stays." Knowing that they had money troubles, I knew that would make her leave. We found out about three hours later that the woman decided to go ahead with the sale.

10-02-2006, 11:26 AM
IF they are going to turn the garage into another room are they going to keep the garage door on it? I don't think so

10-02-2006, 03:12 PM
IF they are going to turn the garage into another room are they going to keep the garage door on it? I don't think so

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And why not? Just think of the ventilation possibilities, with a big fan it'd be better than A/C.... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jester.gif

10-02-2006, 03:18 PM
The inspector who inspected my Houston house for the buyers asked that a box be built over the furnace to keep to possibility of fire going into the attic. We had two other inspectors and an HVAC guy look at it and everyone of them said that the work would actually cause a fire hazard in building a box that close to the furnace as well as create venting problems for the gas. The buyer insisted on us having the work done, or we would have to give them $1500. Idiots!

10-02-2006, 03:50 PM
I work in helping people relocate, and have contacts at real estate companies all over the USA. I have some wonderful stories, not only about the buyers and sellers, but agents as well. You are not alone in your exasperation.

10-04-2006, 08:19 PM
sparkydave, your lucky they dont want a basketball court in there,heres one i rehabed a house for a good friend of mine so he could sell it in a market that took all of three days to sell a house in his area he hired a female realestate agent from a well known national comp.weeks and months rolled by "no interest" she sighted for not selling it,this was very strange in such a hot market, one night we went to check out the house to make sure all was well in the neighborhood, upon entering the living room we discovered why the house woulnt sell, she was using it for her own little "love shack"! cought her red handed in the act. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yesnod.gif

10-04-2006, 10:23 PM
uhm... play ball? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jester.gif

10-05-2006, 05:49 AM
Around her houses are inherited.....

If something is screwed up, you curse out your ancestors. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif

10-05-2006, 11:19 AM
I've had experience on both ends of housing. In my younger years, I had a buyer who agreed to the price, put down the earnest money, signed the contract, etc, but who wanted money for paint, for carpet, for this, for that...

I agreed to the exterior painting allowance, but after 3 or 4 small demands ( e.g. sink replacement in kitchen ) that I was still considering, when the demand for an interior painting allowance came in, I rounded on the agent and asked why they felt they needed an interior paint allowance for house that had just been completely painted inside ( within the last month ). The agent said they didn't like the color scheme! ( off white - neutral ) .

I called a conference. With my copy of the contract in hand, I told them they could have the house at the agreed price ( before the 1st demand ) and take it as is, or I'd invalidate the contract and keep their earnest money until and unless the house sold.

I also explained to them that the only things I'm responsible for after they made the offer were those things that an inspector uncovered and even then, pretty much only structural and system related; certainly not the paint color.

They threatened to sue. I explained to them the implications of breach of contract ( at least to the best of my knowledge after carefully reading the contract and having my attorney review it before the conference ).

I gave them the choice of having a nice house they could give a little TLC to or having to pay a bunch of money to me and my lawyer for screwing up the sale of the house ( I'd had other prospective buyers ).

They chose to shut up and buy the house. I found out later that the agent had encouraged them to ask for as much as possible. I fired her and forced her company to use one of the agents with their company but on the other side of town to complete the sale.

I gave them no choice. They were totally in the wrong and they knew it. The agent had acted for her own enrichment ( the buyers would get the allowances and she would have had the buyers use her business contacts as contractors for painting, etc. and she in turn would get a little kickback )

When one of her contractors turned out to be one of my contractors and he spilled the beans...

On the other side of the coin, I'm sitting in a lovely Victorian house in Eastern Iowa, surrounded by packing boxes. We bought this house quite readily knowing that there were certain things we would have to do ( e.g. planing the paint off the edges of most of the doors ). The seller had to do some Radon mitigation which turned up on the inspection, but that was it.

Poeple quibble over the dumbest things. You either want a house and are prepared to put some time and effort into making it perfect for you and your special set of needs, or you don't. If you don't, buy NEW!

10-05-2006, 03:11 PM
I know this may be obvious but:

All contingencies must be specifically laid out in writing before the contract is signed. By this I mean specific conditions, specific dollar amounts and specific time deadlines.

Once the contract is signed- no more changes, no more requirements. None. I don't care how nice you want to be. There was a time for that- before the contract was signed. Once you start acting inconsistently with the contract (which doing extra work not or giving extra allowances not described therein, is) you open yourself up for all kinds of accusations.

The defense: "the contract doesn't call for that" will not be nearly as effective when you are accused of breaching some additional agreement (which you may or may not have made) when you have already demonstrated that you will go beyond the four corners of the contract.

Always consult a lawyer before modifying any agreement (preferably before signing one at all). Real estate agents and other such non-lawyers, no matter how good, are not qualified by education, experience or law to give legal advice. Legal myths abound.

10-05-2006, 07:02 PM
lawguy,i buy one or two houses per year and your absolutely correct! i bet any competent lawyer could win this case with one lip tied behind his back! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gif

10-06-2006, 09:45 AM
...i bet any competent lawyer could win this case with one lip tied behind his back! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gif

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I've tried that....after hours....but that's a story for another time. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

10-06-2006, 04:48 PM
lawguy, /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/lol.gif