Real Estate - sellers disclosure form

We are looking at a property, where seller has written in the disclosure form:  No water or leakage issues in basement (and no known mold issues).

However, all basement interior walls have been stripped (leaving just the studs), and I can see on the studs that there has been water up to 3-4" deep at some point.  

What legal recourse does a buyer have, if water comes in at a later date?


This isn't going to answer your question, but have you spoken to the seller or rep about what you saw?  Maybe there's been remediation since (gutters, sump pump, whatever) or maybe it was an internal catastrophe of some kind (washer, boiler, burst pipe?) rather than water from outside.  Personally, i would rather skip a property with a big ongoing water problem, than get legal recourse afterward (unless, of course, the property is otherwise irresistible...).


Why not confront them about it now.


I have asked the question of the agent, who had no answer.  There are other bids on the property, and a decision will be made tonight!


Do you have a lawyer?  You need to consult a real estate lawyer.

Your agent wants to get the deal done. They won't be much help.


yahooyahoo said:

Do you have a lawyer?  You need to consult a real estate lawyer.

Your agent wants to get the deal done. They won't be much help.

probably a sump pump failure. Continuous water leakage would have mold and obvious scaling of the foundation wall. I’m gonna say buy the house if you really like it. The agent just wants to sell it. There’s no time to haggle. Go for it 


I AM NOT A LAWYER.

I doubt you would have recourse against the seller unless you produce evidence of repairs to the structure to remediate water damage.


Never get rushed into a purchase that you are not certain about.


Unless you are waiving your home inspection or this is an "as is" sale, you should have the opportunity to address this after your offer has been accepted.

Signed, 17 years in da' business


Soul_29 is 100% correct

Sign the Contract. Once Seller signs hire a lawyer immediately! (I know a good one). Contract has to have an Inspection Clause or your attorney will have to insist upon including one in Contract during what is called Attorney Review.


Wait, are you moving or is this for a client?


Soul_29 said:

Unless you are waiving your home inspection or this is an "as is" sale, you should have the opportunity to address this after your offer has been accepted.

Signed, 17 years in da' business

Are you saying that we should expect sellers and their agents to be liars? Tomcat clearly saw obvious water damage that the seller and the agent must have known about, but chose to lie about.  It makes everything in the transaction suspect.


DanDietrich said:

Soul_29 said:

Unless you are waiving your home inspection or this is an "as is" sale, you should have the opportunity to address this after your offer has been accepted.

Signed, 17 years in da' business

Are you saying that we should expect sellers and their agents to be liars? Tomcat clearly saw obvious water damage that the seller and the agent must have known about, but chose to lie about.  It makes everything in the transaction suspect.

Yes, sellers and agents can sometimes lie.  Our agent lied to us while we were buying a house. The way they phrased the lie allowed them plausible deniability but it was still a lie.


tomcat said:


However, all basement interior walls have been stripped (leaving just the studs), and I can see on the studs that there has been water up to 3-4" deep at some point.  


from what I understand here is, at some point in the history of the house, there was a water in the basement that was high as 4 inches. This is indicative of a leaking water heater, leaking boiler or sump pump failure that went undetected for a day or two. How many homes have not had this happen? Could have happened as recently as Ida. The fact that they removed the sheet rock and didn’t replace it to cover up the evidence of a prior flood, is a good sign, to me anyway. 
does this house have a sump pump? Is the foundation wall showing signs of water? Is there a French drain? These are things you look for. 
Sometimes the house that looks to be perfect is the one with the real issues. I would have bought it as is. Because you hem and haw and wring your hands about a shady realtor or seller , and you might lose out on a good deal. 
tomcat hasn’t responded, so maybe he didn’t buy it. Someone else will buy it because I’m thinking it’s a reduced price. Some people worry way too much about everything. 


No one said anything about it being discounted or as is.  I've bought plenty of problem properties, but I won't be rushed into it at the last minute.  


DanDietrich said:

No one said anything about it being discounted or as is.  I've bought plenty of problem properties, but I won't be rushed into it at the last minute.  

I said “I’m thinking it’s as is”… you guys can not pick at just about anything to prove your point. Of course it will be as is without finished basement walls. What else would you think it is! 


I passed on the property, even though it had 90% of what I was looking for.  I subsequently learned that it is in an area with high water table, and potential flooding issues.

We are likely moving (I can't keep driving 50 min each way to the greenhouse), but not too far away (Tabby is still working close to here).  I will still do home repairs in this area.



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