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Old 04-10-2021, 06:34 AM
 
7 posts, read 3,792 times
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We bought a house recently in Texas. During the buying process, buyers real estate agent negotiated with seller (we did not participate in the discussions) and we signed a repairs amendment in which seller agreed to make some repairs. Our buyers real estate agent told us the repairs are done and we can move the closing day earlier. We wanted a final walkthrough before closing but he said he could not make it and we did it alone towards end of closing day. We noticed that some windows which were supposed to be repaired were not fixed and no receipts provided. We directly contacted the listing agent about it and he later texted that some of the windows would be fixed later but asked us to sign the closing documents. Now, closing is done, we have not moved in and he still had access to the house through lockbox. Now a week after closing, he texts that the repair person has fixed them. But when we went over later they were not fixed and no receipt was provided. After this, there were several variations of facts, from the buyers agent. First, he says we signed off on a list of windows which we did not and there is no documentation. Next, he says the seller’s agent originally misunderstood the repairs for something else which is cheaper to fix and later decided to do what we were asking anyway with his own money out of generosity. Buyer’s agent claims he also contributed some money since he felt some responsibility for the misunderstanding. Then, he forwards a “receipt” from Seller’s agent for the repairs which does not look legitimate and we already pointed out earlier that the windows are clearly not fixed.
When we signed the amendment, based on discussion with buyer’s agent our expectations were clear. We sent a letter - certified mail with return receipt - to the seller with no response. Seller’s agent has been managing the repairs but since Seller signed the amendment - Can we file a case against seller in small claims court? There seems to some collusion between buyer’s and seller’s agent to avoid these repairs (Seller agent got 2% and Buyer agent 3% commission). We feel buyer’s agent did not perform his duty for us. Can we sue him and the well-known realty he is associated with? We are shocked at the Seller’s agent falsely claiming to have fixed something. Should we file case against him and call the “repairs person” as a witness? Can we file a complaint against Texas Real Estate Commission against both Buyer and Seller agent? In addition to the repairs (estimated at $2000 to $3000), can we ask for damages ($5000) since our move has been delayed and is preventing us from settling into the new house? We are still paying rent.If we file a case against seller - do we need to call Buyer’s agent as witness (he may not support our claim) or can we argue with amendment and inspection report itself? Or should we call everyone to court and lay out all the facts - in that case, will the judge take action against Seller, Buyer’s and Seller’s agent? For the amount involved - should we contact a lawyer? Will they take this up on contingency basis?
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Old 04-10-2021, 06:40 AM
 
Location: 49th parallel
3,376 posts, read 1,955,006 times
Reputation: 7013
This is why it is so important to do a walk-through before closing AND NOT SIGN CLOSING PAPERS UNTIL YOU ARE SATISFIED.

I know it is no help now to say the above, but wanted to warn others that this last thing is their only recourse. As to suits, anyone can sue anyone for anything so you can certainly sue your agent, the Seller, or anyone else if you think you can prove your case in court.

I am sorry this has happened to you. It seems people will only do what they think is needed to get their money, and apparently there are plenty of unethical people around in the real estate world, both buying and selling.
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Old 04-10-2021, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Not the end of the Earth, but I can see it from here
4,632 posts, read 4,846,609 times
Reputation: 5051
Yup. Don't sign the documents until you're satisfied everything is in order. It's highly unlikely the deal will fall through, just get delayed. It's amazing how quickly things can happen when you refuse to sign off.

As in any negotiation, you have to be willing to walk away. That's your strongest card to play.

As for your situation, I'm not an attorney, nor have I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, but I suspect that your acceptance of the contract and closing pretty well negates any possibility of recovery from the seller. You've "said" by signing the contract and related papers that you're good with the deal the way it was structured. If there's nothing in there that specifies what needed to be done, game over.

Sorry.

RM
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Old 04-10-2021, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Austin
7,217 posts, read 19,470,863 times
Reputation: 9851
The Texas contract calls for Mediation before you file a lawsuit.
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Old 04-11-2021, 01:47 PM
 
Location: El paso,tx
3,741 posts, read 1,528,289 times
Reputation: 6849
If items were found during an inspection, i always recommend my buyer have the inspector reinspect those items agreed to be repaired once they are done.
Buyers should not close without reinspecting repairs that were supposed to be done.
As for the OP... I would talk to a real estate atty to find out what your options are.
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Old 04-12-2021, 07:52 AM
 
347 posts, read 114,063 times
Reputation: 970
A lot of things in real estate (and life in general I suppose) are "Know when to hold em, know when to fold em." You may be better off chalking it up as a lesson learned, try to move forward and enjoy the new house. In a different thread someone put it well, something like "How much time, energy, and money are you willing to shell out to be right?" As others have said once you sign the closing docs it will probably be much more difficult to make your case.

It can be very frustrating. You don't want to feel screwed over and let people get away with shady practices. I'm not saying you shouldn't pursue it. Just make sure your decisions are relying on logic and not emotions. Talk to an attorney and go from there.
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Old 04-12-2021, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Tierra del Encanto
1,586 posts, read 1,321,439 times
Reputation: 1954
After closing on my old house, moving 2K miles west and buying another house, I got word the buyer was dissatisfied with some work my handyman had done and wanted me to pay for the fix.

They could have mentioned this before closing, but I went along with it to make them 100% satisfied and avoid problems. Someone they hired redid the (small) project and sent me a bill. I sent a digital pic of the check I wrote to the contractor and everyone was happy.

There were no problems in this sale, and I wanted to keep it that way. Well worth the extra $300.
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
12,281 posts, read 12,101,166 times
Reputation: 16861
You need to remove emotion and do the math. It sucks what happened, no question...but again, do the math.

I am a litigation paralegal, I deal with disputes big and small, but of course I'm not going to give you legal advice. The repairs are 2k-3k..."damages" are here and there and can be argued. Most lawyers aren't going to handle your dispute on a contingency basis. What's in it for him by doing it on a contingency other than to help you? The case isn't unusual or really anything special for them to take it on a contingency. The lawyer will probably ask for a retainer...most likely 1-2k for a case that'd be ajudicated most likely in small claims court.

Since it is a small claims case, it'd be probably best for you to file your own case. I have no crystal ball so I can't predict the outcome. It depends on whether you want to deal with the hassle of litigating a case or do you simply just chalk it up as a bad homebuying experience. I don't do real estate but I'm wondering if you coudl file a complaint against the realtors with TREC (Tx Real Estate Commission).
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
9,134 posts, read 5,790,361 times
Reputation: 24458
If Texas has a mediation process as mentioned above.... try that first. I can't tell if either agent has culpability, I actually suspect both agents are really trying to fix the situation with a seller who is uncooperative. And it ultimately should be the seller's responsibility, not the agents. But a mediation process can help sort all that out.

And move in, unless you would seek to undo the deal. You can't expect any of these parties to pay your rent and/or mortgage for months over small items in dispute. Window "repair" issues shouldn't mean the house is uninhabitable.
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
11,502 posts, read 10,362,416 times
Reputation: 25682
You should just let this one go.

You'll spend thousands of dollars and may end up with nothing here.

From what you wrote, neither the sellers agent or buyers agents are at fault.

The seller SHOULD have fixed those items but didn't and you already closed.
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