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Listing Agent Requests Insurance Claim


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I just received an email from a listing agent regarding a home I inspected several weeks ago. During the inspection, the handle on the master shower valve felt oddly loose, had little resistance when turned, and fell off in my hand. The listing agent is claiming that there was no issue prior to the inspection, and that I broke the valve by "over turning it". This is absurd. It was clearly installed wrong or defective when I arrived. A plumber came out, said the shower valve must be replaced, and gave a quote of nearly $2,000. They want my insurer to pay this. The buyer terminated and I can't help but feel like this is an attempt to punish me. My question is, how do I proceed? This is my first time in this situation and I'm not sure what the appropriate response is. Do I tell the agent respectfully that I did not cause the damage and will not be filing a claim? Do I contact my insurance carrier and let them resolve this?

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Edited by CNewhouse
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I suspect an underlying issue, such as your expertise being too great for the listing agent's liking, wants to damage you if he can. What Jim said. If ever there was a right time to fight, this is it. If your insurance is InspectorPro, update them. If it's not...I dunno if it's a good idea or not to bring them in.

Edited by Marc
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52 minutes ago, Marc said:

If ever there was a right time to fight, this is it.

I told the agent that I am paid, in part, to test the showers in the home and that when I did the handle of the shower valve came off in my hand. I told her I take no responsibility for this defect and that it was certainly there before the inspection. I did not use excessive force to turn the shower on. I respectfully declined to contact my insurance or contribute to any repair costs. She insulted me and told me that my "lack of professionalism has been duly noted". Perhaps she has had others lay down when commanded to?

Edited by CNewhouse
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Sometimes damage occurs during an open house, perpetrator is long gone, the seller may not be aware it happened, and the agent only hears one side.

The faucet can probably be repaired by a competent plumber. Sounds like a generic estimate for a full replacement with tile work. 

 

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22 hours ago, Jim Baird said:

If the buyer walked that faucet likely was not the only problem you found.

It was not. I was actually surprised to hear that they terminated, but I can understand wanting a home to be in great shape for the price they were asking. Our area has low inventory, extreme competition and inflated home prices to match.

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Low volume agents are typically a bit snippy when the deal goes south. There goes the bonus check and a trip to the spa for this month, crap.

This happened to me, faucet was broken after I inspected the house, and I stood accused. I had a pic of water flowing from a good faucet, was in the clear.

From time to time, you may have to pay out for a repair, but normally not when your client walks. If so, you bite the bullet and call your fixit buddy. That's the cost of maintaining a cash flow. Shows you can make issues go away. It all depends on how busy you are.

It's a goofy racket where one disgruntled agent smears your company and you are black balled for ever, or until they bring in some fresh members.

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