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1920 upset seller


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Just need some advice!

Just inspected a home built in 1920, there have been several upgrades made to the home (most of them improperly). Anyhoot, to get to the point. The seller received a copy of the report from my clients after they backed out of the purchase. Needless to say I have received a couple of calls from the seller asking for "explanations" on items reported.

The sellers main complaint (he's a realtor also) is that my report on several items are based on todays standards of building and are irrelivent to the standards of the home at the time of building. I stated that some of the standards particularly combustible clearance of a flue pipe (item marked) is a safety item that now is known to cause a fire hazard. He states that he checked the code of 1920 and that 1" clearance was all that was required.

Anyway, he's mentioned small claims court and all......I'm not worried about my report or that standards of which I use. My responsabilty is to my client purchasing. I guess I'm just venting and would like some food for thought if I was quoting the correct standards. I do take into account the age of the home and that some items are just the way they are.

Thanks for the read.

Danny

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You pointed out things that you think are issues to your client. Your client, then, makes the decision to buy, negotiate, or walk away. Code schmode. If you think it's a hazard, write it as such.

As far as your clearance example:

Just because the builder didn't violate law 90 years ago doesn't mean it's safe.

Good luck.

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Well Danny, without seeing the whole report it's hard to take a side. If the house is 1920 I make that to be 87 years old. (old math) If it still works like it was built to work then it probably does not need to be changed. If, on the other hand, the owner made improper repairs or renovations then those should be up to the code at the time he did them. But you would be remiss if you did not point out safety issues regardless of when they were done.

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Without seeing all of the evidence, I agree it's hard to know for sure.

I have a seller now who is pissed at me because I told the buyer that there are three layers of shingles on the roof. The seller said that's a lie. He points to the roof and says, "Look, one layer, can't you see?"

He had installed a new drip edge to cover up the two bottom layers, so it looked like one layer.

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The sellers main complaint (he's a realtor also)...
I'd begin to suspect he's a deceitful a/h.

I stated that some of the standards particularly combustible clearance of a flue pipe (item marked) is a safety item that now is known to cause a fire hazard.
That's a safety issue for any age building. There's NO reasonable argument against fixing it.

He states that he checked the code of 1920 and that 1" clearance was all that was required.
He just confirmed he's a deceitful a/h.
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He states that he checked the code of 1920 and that 1" clearance was all that was required.

Anyway, he's mentioned small claims court and all......

Well, sure, you can find places in this country where there are still laws on the books that say you have to stop and park your car and wait for any horse and rider to pass before continuing. So, if we're to ignore safety issues that weren't known about in 1920, should we be ignoring those old laws?

Tell him that you'll welcome a trip to small claims court but that as soon as he files you intend to counter-sue for payment for what he owns you for the telephone consultations.

Of course, you could always suggest he log on here and ask the brethren what they think about his position. I'm sure some folks here would have some choice words for him and he could benefit from the combined wisdom. [:-devil]

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I had a call from a seller yesterday who threatened to sue me 'cause a buyer's walking. I refused to speak to him, hung up, and continued to ignore the gazillion phone calls that followed throughout the day. Your clients pay you for your professional opinion. If you tell them the front door should be painted pink in your professional opinion, it's okay. The seller has no fiduciary relationship with you and therefore has no legitimate legal recourse. If you're a licensed professional, you're allowed to offer your opinion, regardless of how brilliant or nutty it may be. At least that's how it works in Kentucky.

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One particular seller sticks out in my mind. This seller threatened that I am finished in this town and will never do business again (this was over 2 years ago). He was mad at me because I noted on the report that "there was a growing station complete with a misting sytem and lights in the crawl space that you may want to have the seller remove before closing" and took a picture for the report. I did not state on the report that it was pot, but the listing agent recognized it from the picture. Needless to say, the buyer (who is a concrete contractor in town) was very upset that I would point this out (probably concerned for his reputation) and called to threaten me.

I think it was the right thing to do. What do you think?

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Originally posted by Bain

Also, I noticed Bill's use of a/h.

Are we not allowed to actually type in "asshole?" : )

Well, naturally, we'd all like people to think that we never cuss or swear but most of us do. Having come up in auto-mechanic shops, on construction sites and then having spent nearly 21 years in the Army as a cop before I began this gig, it's pretty much an involuntary reflex with me. To tell you the truth, it's harder for me not to cuss than it is to use pristine language. Besides, it makes for such an effective way to vent! [:-timebm]

That aside, you might hear a tongue cluck or two if you cuss someone out, but if it's something that they'll allow on the FX cable channel I'm not going to kick you out for it, as long as you aren't aren't using it to flame another member. We don't need any of that here - there's too much of that taking place on other boards. [:-paperba

I've got zero tolerance for dope peddlers. If I'd found that growing station, I would have pulled out my cell phone and called the local narcotics task force and finished my inspection while they dropped by with a warrant to arrest the scumbag and tear the house apart. [:-gnasher

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I think we're all pretty nice to each other, here. Every week it seems the list of sellers and realtors who hate my guts grows longer and longer. The camaraderie and shared experiences on TIJ render it a little more tolerable.

Also, and for instance, it's refreshing to know that I'm not the only a/h who's had to pay for a freezer of food because I forgot to reset a GFCI.

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Originally posted by tbird[/i]

One particular seller sticks out in my mind. This seller threatened that I am finished in this town and will never do business again (this was over 2 years ago). He was mad at me because I noted on the report that "there was a growing station complete with a misting sytem and lights in the crawl space that you may want to have the seller remove before closing" and took a picture for the report. I did not state on the report that it was pot, but the listing agent recognized it from the picture. Needless to say, the buyer (who is a concrete contractor in town) was very upset that I would point this out (probably concerned for his reputation) and called to threaten me.

I think it was the right thing to do. What do you think?

Interior gardening area at south east corner of attic has numerous wiring defects, lacks adequate ventilation, and lacks properly plumbed drain pan to prevent water damage to areas below. I recommend repair, replacement or removal as required by qualified licensed and insured electrical, plumbing and HVAC contractors. Also, it appears to me that it is possible no permits were obtained for this

work, I recommend that if you intend to continue the current use of this installation that you investigate with the AHJ prior to close of escrow to determine whether this usage is allowed, and if so that this installation can be modified to meet all applicable codes and regulations.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know that this is an old post, but next time remind him/her that aluminum wiring was once used, as was federal pacific panels, standard glass in shower/sliding/storm doors, asbestos, lead based paint, untreated sill plates, ungrounded outlets by the kitchen sink, etc., etc., etc.

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