Q: Seller was suppose to make a repair before closing but failed to do so, can I take them to small claims court?
My realtor sent the listing agent a few repairs to make and they agreed to do so. After final walkthrough the repair was not noticeable until after coming back to the property and turning on the water. There was still a leak in the plumbing that was supposed to have been fixed. Now I’m stuck with a 1200 dollar plumbing bill and 4500 furnace bill that seller was suppose to have been fixed. My realtor visited the property two days before closing and told me everything was ok but when I arrived it was not and now no one is available to handle my issues. What can I do.
A: Initially, I suggest you write a letter to the seller and copy the agent. The letter should point out the defects and make a specific demand for reimbursement. After they ignore or reject your demand, you may then consider legal action. However, since you did not point out the defects during the walk through, (and depending on the language in the purchase agreement), you may have some difficulty in court.
I agree particularly with the likelihood that the issue may have been waived by your acceptance at closing. Without seeing the entire closing package including the offer and the ‘punch list’ of repairs required it is hard to say for sure.
If the real estate people put IN WRITING that all conditions had been met, you may be able to request THEY reimburse you for the repairs.
Did YOU — before the closing — look too?
It seems like many times a review of the closing paperwork by an attorney before the offer/closing can save many headaches afterward, but in this case that may not have helped because it sounds like the problem was not necessarily with the paperwork but with your acceptance of the physical condition.
Before you sue anyone though, get the advice of a local licensed attorney!
— this answer is offered for information only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. I am licensed in Michigan only.
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