I am a member of the State Bar of California, the Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and a member of the California Association of Realtors. Please permit me to assist.
1. There is no conflict of interest or unlawful representation concerning the buyer and his agent, because the agent's fiduciary duties run to the buyer, not to you.
2. The typical California Association of Realtors purchase agreement (RPA) does not require that you repair any defects in the property which occur during the course of the escrow. The buyer has the option to cancel the transaction, as do you, as the seller, unless you can come to terms on the final sales price and any repairs that you may agree upon.
3. Real estate agents are highly disposed to try to hold the transaction together, and in my experience they will say anything in order to do so, since their commission is dependent upon a successful close of escrow. You must not permit yourself to be manipulated. If you cannot get your price for the property, then cancel the deal and find another buyer. It's really just that simple. If the buyer wants their earnest money returned, you can demand mediation/arbitration, or simply refuse, and let the escrow agency file an interpleader action in Superior Court to determine who gets what from the buyer's money.
4. Alternatively, you can simply lower the price until the buyer accepts -- but, by doing so, your leverage is lost, so I find this to be a suboptimal negotiating technique.
5. The bot***** *****ne is that you have to play hardball. If the buyer wants the property, then they will accept it, even if the spa is leaking. And, if not, then they won't, and you'll have to find another buyer.
I realize it's difficult to "divorce" yourself from a property that you have owned for many years, but this is a business deal, and there's no room to be annoyed by anything except the money. Decide how much you're willing to accept for the property, make your demand, and if the buyer refuses to come to the table, then cancel the deal and move on.
I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.
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