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Old 05-14-2014, 11:47 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,255 times
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My husband and I closed on our house on May 07, 2014. I was away on business, but he started moving our things the following day (may 8). Once he started putting things in the basement he noticed a huge puddle. about 10'x10' and 1.5" deep in the center, and it seemed to be coming from the wall adjacent to the basement steps. In the disclosure the sellers stated that the basement had sealed and would not leak. The day we closed we got 1/2" of rain in a 12 hour period, not enough to normally cause flooding of basements. We contacted the real estate agent and they told us they would not pay to fix the leak and they got very angry with us. Our broker is urging us to contact legal counsel and get a professional opinion (from a foundation company). Has anyone else dealt with this? What did you do and what was the outcome? We really don't want to sue, we just want it fixed. They "sealed" the cracks from the inside, but the outside wall has never been sealed, so i'm guessing that's where the water is coming from.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:57 AM
 
50 posts, read 72,344 times
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i have no advise for you. we have a very similar circumstance. bought a home partially because it was boasted to have a dry basement (every basement we've had has leaked), and we had planned to finish it. within 3 months we had our first spring here and an honest-to-god waterfall down our basement wall. we never have rain without finding puddles.

we bought from the owner (no realtors), and they have nothing to say to us about it, other than they had a company (helitech) waterproof the basement. so we are going after helitech. not suing, but trying to get them to stand by their work.

good luck.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:01 PM
 
203 posts, read 222,971 times
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Ultimately, this will all depend on exactly what is in the disclosure. I know you've sort of outlined it but the actual words used here will really matter. For instance, they disclosed the repair but I doubt they guaranteed the basement would not leak in the future. Regarding the prior repair, do you know who did it? Was there a warranty? Is it transferable? Is the area repaired related to your current problem? Of course, you should have known those answers prior to closing and if you did not I would be all over your agent and inspector.

I wouldn't expect the seller or their agent to voluntarily do anything without the threat of legal action.
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,908 posts, read 4,154,870 times
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My only thought is, do they have a transferable warranty? Otherwise, I would definitely be getting a professional in, and worry about who's paying later.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:21 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
1,221 posts, read 2,389,396 times
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The issue with disclosures is what the seller knew at the time they made the disclosure. Sellers aren't required to disclose anything that's not within their knowledge or capable of easy discernment. The question is whether these sellers knew (or reasonably should have known) that not sealing the basement from the outside would cause it to leak. Since they made an affirmative statement that the basement was sealed and would not leak, they might be in trouble with the disclosure since it turned out to be false. If the sellers can show that they were relying on the opinion of a professional when they made that disclosure then you might be able to go after the company that did the work.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:34 PM
 
1,428 posts, read 1,485,587 times
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Hi,
I actually checked into the whole disclosure thing while purchasing a house and in MO- there is no legal recourse to the seller lying on the disclosure form. If you want to be certain though- ask your relator for the name of a real estate attorney.

We had actually made an offer on a house that had said it had no asbestos; and according to the county (public) records- it did. I brought it up to the agent at the time and rescinded our offer.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:14 PM
 
203 posts, read 222,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jribe View Post
Hi,
I actually checked into the whole disclosure thing while purchasing a house and in MO- there is no legal recourse to the seller lying on the disclosure form. If you want to be certain though- ask your relator for the name of a real estate attorney.

We had actually made an offer on a house that had said it had no asbestos; and according to the county (public) records- it did. I brought it up to the agent at the time and rescinded our offer.
I heard this from my realtor as we'll but as far as I can tell it's wrong. You could have a breach of contract claim and most certainly could have a fraudulent misrepresentation claim against the seller. Possibly also claims against the seller's broker as well. If you have something that says otherwise I would like to see it. I think realtors tell people there is no recourse so that they just go away and don't give the realtor a reputation as someone who has customers who will upset the applecart. Doubly true if agents from the same company had both ends of the deal. Again, if you have anything that says otherwise I'm genuinely interested.
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Old 05-15-2014, 04:48 AM
 
1,428 posts, read 1,485,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hector2 View Post
I heard this from my realtor as we'll but as far as I can tell it's wrong. You could have a breach of contract claim and most certainly could have a fraudulent misrepresentation claim against the seller. Possibly also claims against the seller's broker as well. If you have something that says otherwise I would like to see it. I think realtors tell people there is no recourse so that they just go away and don't give the realtor a reputation as someone who has customers who will upset the applecart. Doubly true if agents from the same company had both ends of the deal. Again, if you have anything that says otherwise I'm genuinely interested.
i contacted a real estate attorney on separate issue - non disclosure of a murder/homicide in the home and there was no recourse; but as i said the OP should check with a legitimate real estate attorney to be sure (unless there are any on here)
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:25 AM
 
203 posts, read 222,971 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by jribe View Post
i contacted a real estate attorney on separate issue - non disclosure of a murder/homicide in the home and there was no recourse; but as i said the OP should check with a legitimate real estate attorney to be sure (unless there are any on here)
That is way different than what we're talking about. A murder is not a recognized material defect in a home under Missouri law perhaps, but a leak in the structure sure is.
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