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Problems with as-is property

Discussion in 'Buying & Selling a Home or Residence' started by Chaz B, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. Chaz B

    Chaz B Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Maryland
    My family is in the middle of buying a house as-is in Baltimore County Maryland. The house has been vacant for 2 or 3 years and has had the water turned off for that time. The seller's agent is saying that we have to pay a plumber to come in and turn the water on for inspection even though the as-is addendum clearly states that it is the seller's responsibility to turn on all utilities before inspection. The inspector says that the water will need to be on for at least 12 hours in order to properly test it as a result of it being off for so long. There is a known leak in one of the ceilings, which poses a problem considering the water will need to be on for half a day. It seems to me that the seller's agent knows that the water will need to be turned on if they ever want to sell the house and knows that doing so may cause damage and is trying to get us to foot the bill when it does. The as-is addendum says that the buyer is responsible for any damage caused by the inspection. The question is whether turning on the water would count as damage caused by the inspection, or if having us turn on the water instead of the seller makes a difference as far as who is responsible for potential damage. We are also curious if by hiring a plumber ourselves we open ourselves up to additional liability should we not buy the house and a pipe freezes and bursts over the winter while it sits on the market.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If you had retained the services of a real estate attorney to advise you as you tread the road to potentially buying real estate, you would likely be advised to say what some contestants often told Host Howie Mandel "NO DEAL".

    That said, you can STILL say "NO DEAL", or better yet, "NO THANKS, we're no longer interested in the property. Have a nice day!"



    The beat continues, huh?

    Why would you even be interested in this dilapidated dwelling after all of this?

    Most people would have walked away before it got this far, mate.

    Run, don't walk away from this money sucking trap!!!

    If you don't buy this HOG of a HOME, you won't have to worry about it, mate.
     
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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  4. Chaz B

    Chaz B Law Topic Starter New Member

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  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    If you are truly buying this property "as-is", then why do you need any inspections?
     
    hrforme likes this.
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You inspect an "as is" property to find out exactly what the "as is" is that you are letting yourself in for. DUH.

    Yeah, I see that in the addendum. Instead of griping on internet websites just exercise your right to terminate and walk away from the deal. Make sure you do it in writing and quote the section that the seller is failing to comply with.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  7. Chaz B

    Chaz B Law Topic Starter New Member

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    We would prefer to not walk away, that's why I'm trying to figure this out. I'm just trying to understand if turning on the water would be considered as the buyer/buyer's agent/contractor causing damage to the property during an inspection if the leak turns out to be a problem, or if that question is affected by who turns the water on.
     
  8. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    The OP seems quite familiar with what he's getting himself in to and has his mind set on buying the property already...
     
  9. Chaz B

    Chaz B Law Topic Starter New Member

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    You also get an inspection to get more leverage for negotiation. We haven't ruled out walking away but we are trying to see if this can work.
     
  10. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Let's start with this: "Seller . . . shall have utilities in service at the time of inspection." Sounds like, as concerns the water, the seller doesn't want to comply with that obligation.

    The next sentence say that the buyer or buyer's agent shall not "damage any part of the Property without the prior written consent of Seller." It then says that, if "Buyer or Buyer's agents or contractors damage the Property during any inspection(s), Buyer shall be responsible for all costs incurred in correcting such damage."

    Here's the thing: The "inspector says that the water will need to be on for at least 12 hours in order to properly test," but the seller doesn't want to turn on the water (despite the contractual obligation to "have utilities in service at the time of inspection") because of concern that doing so will cause damage. Adding to that, I assume that the seller is not going to turn on the water or give you (or your agent or contractor) access to turn on the water without acknowledgment by you that any damage will be your responsibility. If that's true, then I think these are your options:

    1. Walk away.
    2. Proceed with the purchase without an inspection.
    3. Turn on the water and accept liability for any resulting damage.
    4. Negotiate with the seller for an allocation of liability of any damages that result from turning on the water.
     
    shadowbunny likes this.
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I guess I have a different mind-set about "as-is". I wouldn't even consider buying a property as-is unless I was confident that I was familiar enough with the property to already know what I was getting myself in to. For example, I'd buy my dad's house as-is. Why? Because he's lived there over 50 years and I'm familiar with most "things" that have gone on. I wouldn't even consider buying a stranger's house as-is until AFTER inspections were done, nor would I consider even floating the idea...
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Wise words, excellent choice, I agree 100%.

    I am risk averse in all things I do.
     

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