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Old 04-02-2013, 02:17 PM
 
28 posts, read 105,681 times
Reputation: 13

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So here is the deal. Seller had done the pest inspection through a company which quoted him $8500 for pest work. Report was on MLS. We read this inspection report and knew that if buy the home we won't be going with this pest company as their quote was very expensive.We bid on a home and our offer was highest. Seller countered saying that the house will be sold "As is" and he verbally told us that he will not do pest work. We said ok and we signed the contract.

Now I am in the 17 day contingency period. We did home inspection and found lots of small issues....nothing really big. Sellers agent emails us saying that the company that gave pest quote was scheduled to do the work next week and asked us if we want to go ahead with the pest work through that company. We told him no and that we want our own pest inspector to give us a new quote as we are paying for it anyways. Two days later the sellers agent replies that the pest work is already done. The company went ahead and did the work without his knowledge. The seller knew about it but the agent didn't.

Now the agent says we have to pay fully to the pest company as we said in the contract that seller won't pay for the pest. But the contract says the home is being sold as is plus we have email proof that we were trying to get better quotes while the original company was doing the work without our knowledge.

The seller already has a higher offer on the house which he received after he accepted our offer. So I am sure he will try to back out if we don't pay the pest guy. Can he back out in this situation ? What are my options ?
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:27 PM
 
1,835 posts, read 2,870,885 times
Reputation: 3765
Quote:
Originally Posted by gav_sharma View Post
So here is the deal. Seller had done the pest inspection through a company which quoted him $8500 for pest work. Report was on MLS. We read this inspection report and knew that if buy the home we won't be going with this pest company as their quote was very expensive.We bid on a home and our offer was highest. Seller countered saying that the house will be sold "As is" and he verbally told us that he will not do pest work. We said ok and we signed the contract.

Now I am in the 17 day contingency period. We did home inspection and found lots of small issues....nothing really big. Sellers agent emails us saying that the company that gave pest quote was scheduled to do the work next week and asked us if we want to go ahead with the pest work through that company. We told him no and that we want our own pest inspector to give us a new quote as we are paying for it anyways. Two days later the sellers agent replies that the pest work is already done. The company went ahead and did the work without his knowledge. The seller knew about it but the agent didn't.

Now the agent says we have to pay fully to the pest company as we said in the contract that seller won't pay for the pest. But the contract says the home is being sold as is plus we have email proof that we were trying to get better quotes while the original company was doing the work without our knowledge.

The seller already has a higher offer on the house which he received after he accepted our offer. So I am sure he will try to back out if we don't pay the pest guy. Can he back out in this situation ? What are my options ?
If its not in the contract, its not your problem. House is as is - not as is with additional pest control work.

Seller may try to get out of the contract, but unless the contract says you will pay for the work, then you are not obligated to do so....your remedy if he were to fail to close would be specific performance, which would require you to sue to force the closing, but you would in all likelihood prevail...it would just be a big headache.

In my opinion, your not obligated to pay for anything...but what is fair? That is up to you...I do not like to take advantage of stupid people very often, so if it were me - Fair I would say would be to get a couple competing bids and to pay only the lowest bid price you would have paid if you had the work done yourself....the owner will realize that anything is better than nothing and accept whatever you throw his way.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Austin
7,238 posts, read 19,858,670 times
Reputation: 9967
I agree with the above. If the contract says the seller isn't paying for pest treatment, why is the seller scheduling such treatment. That's his own fault.

Like above, I'm not always about what's written, but can have a soft heart for what is "fair". What does "fair" mean? It's hard to get some estimates once the work is already done. An $8500 estimate tells me there was something drastically wrong, unless you made a typo with that number. I can't imagine any pest treatment being that much. Most termite treatments around around $500-1000 and that's the highest I've ever seen. Offer something reasonable, not $50, and see where it goes.

Otherwise, just move along to closing as you have an executed contract.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:37 PM
 
28 posts, read 105,681 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by marksmu View Post
If its not in the contract, its not your problem. House is as is - not as is with additional pest control work.

Seller may try to get out of the contract, but unless the contract says you will pay for the work, then you are not obligated to do so....your remedy if he were to fail to close would be specific performance, which would require you to sue to force the closing, but you would in all likelihood prevail...it would just be a big headache.

In my opinion, your not obligated to pay for anything...but what is fair? That is up to you...I do not like to take advantage of stupid people very often, so if it were me - Fair I would say would be to get a couple competing bids and to pay only the lowest bid price you would have paid if you had the work done yourself....the owner will realize that anything is better than nothing and accept whatever you throw his way.
Are you sure we will prevail ? What is the process like ? Will we have to wait till the date of closing to find out he is not going to close ? If the seller switches to the backup offer can he sell the house before we can sue him ?
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:44 PM
 
3,293 posts, read 6,567,066 times
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You say you are in the contingency period. Do you have any remaining contingencies?

Hardball is to refuse to remove contingencies until you reach agreement.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:50 PM
 
4,567 posts, read 9,597,860 times
Reputation: 6666
Tell the realtor your original contract did not include additional work or expenses, so anything the seller decides he wants to spend his money on is out of his own pocket. Make sure the bill is paid for prior to closing, or escrowed for that company during closing.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Austin
7,238 posts, read 19,858,670 times
Reputation: 9967
Quote:
Originally Posted by gav_sharma View Post
Are you sure we will prevail ? What is the process like ? Will we have to wait till the date of closing to find out he is not going to close ? If the seller switches to the backup offer can he sell the house before we can sue him ?
There is never a "sure" deal. There are historic situations that we look at. Someone I know spent $40,000 make the seller sell. Was it worth it? At the time, he thought it was. When he sold it 2 years later at a major loss, he knew it was a bad idea. Hind sight...
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:12 PM
 
1,101 posts, read 2,509,553 times
Reputation: 1035
I hope you have a lawyer. I'm not one, but I assume he wouldn't be able to sell the home to someone else if it is already under contract and you, as the buyer, are meeting all the terms.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:00 PM
 
28 posts, read 105,681 times
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Its not a typo....the quote for pest work was $8500 with subterranean termite removal, replacing sidings and wood from the eves. It also includes tenting the house and fumigation.

The contingencies are not removed yet. I have till 10th April to remove them. All the contingencies are buyers contingency based on inspection and appraisal. The seller has no contingency as we have agreed to all he required us to accept(like buying home As-is, not getting any appliances with the home, etc.)

The listing agent is saying that they scheduled a pest because they thought they had to do it before appraisal is done. But that doesn't make sense to me.

I am a first time home buyer and this is all new to me. Should I just keep quiet, remove contingency, do appraisal and loan and wait for closing and ignore the requests of seller to pay for the pest ?

My realtor is advising me to pay for the pest work now and then sue them later in small claims court but I don't like that idea. The court will assume that there was a verbal agreement otherwise why would I pay for it in the first place ?
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:03 PM
 
28 posts, read 105,681 times
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What can the seller do in this scenario ? The property is in California. Can seller backout before closing ? Will I loose my security deposit if this happens ? Can the selling agent prevent appraiser to look at the home until this issue is resolved ?
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