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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 30168
Experience:  JA Mentor
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Just sold our house and after closing the new buyers are complaining

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Just sold our house and after closing the new buyer's are complaining of pet odor and pet damage. They replaced the carpet at a cost of $2600 (only carpet was in the living of house is tile) and found signs of pet urine in the carpet. They also hired a company that came in and used a black light inspection and said they should treat all of the tile flooring....this cost came out to $4000.....which they had done. Now they are demanding total reimbursement for $6600.

We disclosed when selling that we owned a pet but checked the "no pet odor or damage" box because we weren't aware of any odor or damage when we lived in the house. The buyers were also present several times in the house with realtors and myself for up to two hours on a few occassions and never complained of any odors. No one ever noticed this before closing.

We did have standard home inspections done which included termite and pest and they found no damage due to pets. However, the buyers did not request a specific pet odor or pet damage inspection prior to closing and one was not done.

My wife and I are inclined to concede that the carpet did have damage after they pulled it up and offer to pay the $2600 for that. They took photos of this for documentation. However, the tile floor treatment they were talked into for the tile flooring seems way overboard....and expensive.

Where do we stand legally? Should we pay part or all or nothing?

They claim that we should have noted the pet damage on the disclosure, but none was known when we signed is evidenced by no one detecting an odor or damage during the many visits they made and other inspectors made.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

If the buyers did an inspection that did not reveal any pet damage, they did not mention or complain about the problem previously, and you were not aware of any issues, you're not liable. A seller is not required to disclose any problem that he does not know exists. To recover, they'd have to show that you knew these problems existed and intentionally hid them - and that these are problems they couldn't have uncovered on their own. Otherwise, a seller is only required to deliver the property "broom clean." You're not required to replace carpets and have the tile sanitized to the point that it's clean under a black light.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
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