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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 37037
Experience:  Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate
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I have made an offer house in Muskogee, OK. I had an

Customer Question

I have made an offer for a house in Muskogee, OK. I had an inspection done and he discovered a sewer leak under the house(on a slab). Is it against the law for the sellers to refuse to fix the leak before the sale?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The sale is being financed by FHA. I asked my realtor to inform the appraiser of the problem and he refused. I no if he found the problem they would have been forced to repair the issue. I am in Des Moines, Iowa currently and therefore handicapped in getting things done.
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. I am Ray and will be the expert helping you today.

Most residential sales contracts in Oklahoma have a cap on the amount of repairs seller is required to pay for.That said seller is now on notice the house has problems and has to legally disclose it to any other buyers.While they are not legally required to spend more than the stated amount the reality is they have to fix it for the next buyer.Here you are entitled to your earnest money back if the repairs exceed the stated limits.

You can also continue to negotiate if you really want the house.But know they will have to fix this here for the next buyer or give them an allowance to do so otherwise they are failing to disclose a known defect under Oklahoma law.

You have a couple of options here to take your earnest money and run or negotiate a resolution.The seller really is going to have to fix this or offer a credit for a new buyer so maybe you offer them a third of cost if you really want the house. You can keep negotiating here if you choose.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

See item C2 there should be a similar paragraph in your contract..

http://www.ok.gov/OREC/documents/Residential%20Sales%201-2011.pdf.

Seller

shall have __________ days (5 days if blank) after receipt of the completed TRR form from Seller’s

Broker, if applicable, to obtain costs estimates. Seller agrees to pay up to $________________ (“Repair

Cap”) of costs of TRR’s. If Seller, or Seller’s Broker, if applicable, obtains cost estimates which exceed

Repair Cap, Seller, or Seller’s Broker, if applicable, shall notify Buyer or Buyer’s Broker, if applicable, in

writing, within two days after receipt of cost estimates.

If the amount of the

TRR’s exceed the amount of the Repair Cap, Buyer and Seller shall have __________ days

(3 days if blank) thereafter to negotiate the payment of costs in excess of Repair Cap. If a written agreement is

reached, Seller shall complete all agreed TRR’s prior to the Closing Date. If an agreement is not reached within

the time specified in this provision, the Contract shall become null and void and Earnest Money returned to Buyer

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

The sales contract sets out the limits here and your rights to your earnest money back if they fail to repair it.

Thanks again.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

You may decide to try and resolve this matter or terminate the sales contract and a return of earnest money under the sales contract.

I am so sorry you are having to go through all of this.

Thanks again, if you can leave a positive rating it is much appreciated.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a follow-up question. The final counter offer from them capped the repair cost at $500. We asked for $2,000. I asked them to replace the main circuit box with a 100 or 120 circuit breaker box. When I saw the house they had 2- 50 amp panels wired together.
When I went back again, they has taken the second box out. They said they had an electrician in to estimate cost to repair. I do not know if they have since had the panel repaired. We are set to close on Friday because they refuse to sign another extension.
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Well they can refuse to go above $500 and they have to refund your earnest money here and you can terminate the sales contract.This sounds like there are more problems, you may decide to terminate here and look elsewhere unless you want the house bad enough in which case you can try to negotiate some more.They will end up fixing all of this it will not pass inspection and it is now known defect.Sometimes sellers can be unyielding, maybe this isn't the house for you.It has known problems thats for sure.

Thanks again and the best to you whatever you decide here.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

If you can leave a positive rating it is always sincerely ***** *****

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