man's foot about to slip on banana peel

So as you’ve undoubtedly gathered by reading this blog, as well as others over the years, Real Estate is a pretty kooky business and just about anything can happen. Often….those things are unique. This post is sort of targeted to buyers…as a warning. Be careful…lest you screw yourself. Come to think of it, that would probably be good advice to all of us!

A month or so ago I had a listing that, like alot of listings, had some un-permitted elements. The kitchen and one of the bathrooms were updated without permits by my seller and there were several un-permitted things done in the 70’s and earlier. Everything was disclosed to the best of every bodies knowledge. The buyer’s accepted the house in “As Is” condition and signed the disclosures. Done deal, right? Well…not quite.

The buyer’s (probably in an attempt to acquire some leverage) went to the local building department and filed a formal complaint against the seller for all of the un-permitted items. The building inspector then paid a visit to the seller and gave her a form requiring her to bring the un-permitted elements up to current code. 10 days was given to begin the process.

The is just a TAD problematic…at best! Needless to say, this cause a bit of stress for the seller. It could have caused a bit more than stress to the buyers too…since the contract says on page 4, item 14E: “Buyer shall not request or schedule any inspections and investigations by any building department inspector or any government employee without the prior written consent of Seller”. In other words…the buyers defaulted. Talk about causing yourself a problem? They had two choices, get out of the transaction and argue over their deposit (and probably lose) or go forward and pick up the tabs of their own actions with the building department. Yikes!

They decided to stay in it…and pick up the tabs. They’re going to have to bring things up to code that were completely unnecessary. Oh well. If you’re a buyer…especially a first time buyer, don’t do this. It’ll be more expensive than you think.

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