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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118179
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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As the Listing Agent of a property that has a ratified

Customer Question

As the Listing Agent of a property that has a ratified contract on it with no home inspection requested I need to make sure on a topic.
Seller does the Termite Inspection which comes back and said there are termites and Powder Post beetles - cost of repair $1,400. In addition, said house board have damage and need house to be lifted and boards at edges need to be replaced by contractor.
Home owner said I had this home treated a few years ago 2004 and I want to call in that Company again. I said o.k. no problem. Second company comes in and said I don't see new termites or Powder Post beetles but recommend the same treatment for $1,400 and home said, go ahead and do treatment. Second company said nothing about structural damage. So I called the second company and asked questions about what they found. They said they are not licensed to make any recommendation on structural issues, if any and what damage that was there was the same as 2004.
What is my responsibility to the buyer in this instance? Is this material fact that has to be reported if hear say and not through a structural engineer?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Your liability as a broker/agent and the seller's duty is to make a mandatory disclosure on these issues to the buyer. If you fail to make disclosures, you and seller could be jointly liable, since you were informed of the issues. IF you do not report everything to the buyer and let the buyer make up their mind as to what to do next (inspection etc) and get the buyer to sign an acknowledgement that it was disclosed, you open yourself and your seller up to liability as this is a major issue requiring disclosure.

As far as the structural issue, that needs to be reported only in that it was found and that the company claims it was not an issue and give them the name and contact information on the company. Then it is on the buyer to seek their own inspection or take the company's word for it that is up to them and whatever happens once you have them sign the acknowledgement and waiver of liability you and your seller are clear.