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Succession, property sold without legal warranty..


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I got a call today to do an inspection for a home sold by succession (death of owner). This property is of course sold without a legal warranty of quality, meaning the buyer has no legal recourse on the seller unless they prove there was something purposely hidden from them.

I am being hired by the agent as he will represent the buyer who is out of the country. I've met this agent many times and he knows I am new to the biz just like him, and he is trying to push me as an inspector. I have had no contact with the buyer who I am told will sign my service agreement via fax and resend it back to me.

How concerned should I be here? This is the first time inspecting a property without legal warranty for me. The agent says it's a quick little bungalow (they all hope it's quick!) however, a little scratching the surface and I am told by the real estate authority around here to "...make sure the home inspector is informed the property has no warranty as he should do a much more in depth inspection being that there is no legal recourse for the buyer..." except maybe from me.[:-wiltel]

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Just do what you do.

There's no warranty on homes anyway. If you are always doing a complete and thorough inspection there's no need to be concerned with one home versus another home. Just do it the way you always do it and you'll be fine.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I got a call today to do an inspection for a home sold by succession (death of owner). This property is of course sold without a legal warranty of quality, meaning the buyer has no legal recourse on the seller unless they prove there was something purposely hidden from them.

I don't know about Canada. In the U.S. that wouldn't make any sense.

I am being hired by the agent as he will represent the buyer who is out of the country. I've met this agent many times and he knows I am new to the biz just like him, and he is trying to push me as an inspector. I have had no contact with the buyer who I am told will sign my service agreement via fax and resend it back to me.

How concerned should I be here? This is the first time inspecting a property without legal warranty for me. The agent says it's a quick little bungalow (they all hope it's quick!) however, a little scratching the surface and I am told by the real estate authority around here to "...make sure the home inspector is informed the property has no warranty as he should do a much more in depth inspection being that there is no legal recourse for the buyer..." except maybe from me.[:-wiltel]

Who, exactly, said that? It's a bunch of crap.

As Mike said, just do your thing. I love doing these kinds of inspections. There's no seller with a bunch of emotional baggage to resent your report. There'll be no buyer there to bug you; so you can devote your full attention to the house. Since the previous owner died, it's unlikely that anyone is trying to hide defects.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I've met this agent many times and he knows I am new to the biz just like him,

Then you have at the bottom

If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.

Is there a reason you are including that bottom statement with every post?

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I've done some inspections where the Ontario New Home Warranty Program (mandatory on all newly constructed homes) has been an issue for various reasons. The guidelines of the program are available on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's website (CMHC is a sort of regulatory body for mortgages/housing). I have never heard of a resale home being subject to warranty issues.

-Brad

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Here's the link for the ACAIQ (real estate board which licences agents in Quebec) and what they have to say.

http://www.acaiq.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects ... ticle=5313

I'm a little pressed for time as I have to leave for a funeral :( in a few minutes but I will fill you in more later this evening.

The Red Adair quote is just my signature here like Hausdok's OT-OF!

Gotta go.

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Hi guys,

Sorry been busy, but it's better than being 6 feet under... this is the second funeral in 10 days for me.

Anyways, I know there isn't any "real warranty" on older homes, it's just that a buyer can go back almost indefinitely on the seller for a hidden defect without a statute of limitations here. Except in this case.

It's for a divorced woman looking to downsize to a 2 bedroom (converted from 3 bedroom) early 1960's poorly renovated bungalow. She saw the property on Saturday with her agent, made an offer in the afternoon and it was accepted on Saturday night. She left early Monday morning for the Dominican Republic for the week, and left her agent to take care of getting the inspection done. He called me Monday. I told him could do the inspection early Tuesday morning if he could. That's when he said she wouldn't be there, I told him I need my Service Agreement (SA) signed before I can hand over the inspection report. I performed the inspection in 2 1/2 hours and left after a 5 minute pow-wow with both the selling and buying agents tapping their watches as only agents can do. He called me today to ask me very nicely to not cash his check as it could be misconstrued as a conflict of interest. I agreed, not wanting loopholes for any legal backlash and telling him I will hold his cheque in good faith until payment is received from the buyer. He also told me he was having problems getting the SA faxed to the Dominican. I sent him a PDF of the CAHPI standards of practice and my SA for him to forward to the client's Gmail.

I saw this agent again today. He said he had communicated with her and she was returning on the 9th of March, and she had received the attachments. I told him this evening to email me her Gmail account so I can communicate with her directly, and as of 1:00am, still nothing. This deal has 2 days left. I told the agent the report would be ready tomorrow, but I reminded him I won't turn it over to him or her until she signs my SA. I still have yet to hear from the client who is buying this house without any recourse from the Dominican Republic while on vacation.

What red flags would be going up for you?

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Hi guys,

Sorry been busy, but it's better than being 6 feet under... this is the second funeral in 10 days for me.

Anyways, I know there isn't any "real warranty" on older homes, it's just that a buyer can go back almost indefinitely on the seller for a hidden defect without a statute of limitations here. Except in this case.

It's for a divorced woman looking to downsize to a 2 bedroom (converted from 3 bedroom) early 1960's poorly renovated bungalow. She saw the property on Saturday with her agent, made an offer in the afternoon and it was accepted on Saturday night. She left early Monday morning for the Dominican Republic for the week, and left her agent to take care of getting the inspection done. He called me Monday. I told him could do the inspection early Tuesday morning if he could. That's when he said she wouldn't be there, I told him I need my Service Agreement (SA) signed before I can hand over the inspection report. I performed the inspection in 2 1/2 hours and left after a 5 minute pow-wow with both the selling and buying agents tapping their watches as only agents can do. He called me today to ask me very nicely to not cash his check as it could be misconstrued as a conflict of interest. I agreed, not wanting loopholes for any legal backlash and telling him I will hold his cheque in good faith until payment is received from the buyer. He also told me he was having problems getting the SA faxed to the Dominican. I sent him a PDF of the CAHPI standards of practice and my SA for him to forward to the client's Gmail.

I saw this agent again today. He said he had communicated with her and she was returning on the 9th of March, and she had received the attachments. I told him this evening to email me her Gmail account so I can communicate with her directly, and as of 1:00am, still nothing. This deal has 2 days left. I told the agent the report would be ready tomorrow, but I reminded him I won't turn it over to him or her until she signs my SA. I still have yet to hear from the client who is buying this house without any recourse from the Dominican Republic while on vacation.

What red flags would be going up for you?

Ha! The agent will relay your pow wow summary to her. If she decides to not buy the house, you won't get paid.

I've done lots of work for out of town buyers. My first rule is to always establish a reliable line of communication directly with the customer right away. Email works great for this. A couple of times, with customers who weren't particularly computer-savvy, I actually set up g-mail accounts for them and taught them how to use them from their hotel's business center. Once the e-mail communication is up & working, everything goes smoothly. The fact that they're out of the country simply ceases to be an issue.

For payment, Paypal is perfect for out of town or on-vacation buyers.

With modern technology, there's really no reason that these kinds of transactions can't work smoothly.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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He called me today to ask me very nicely to not cash his check as it could be misconstrued as a conflict of interest.

I'm with Jim on this. I think you are being set up to take the fall if the deal falls through. He hired you as an intermediary for the client and I don’t see any further conflict in him paying you as that intermediary. If this deal falls through, the client will have zero incentive to pay you or the agent, and the agent will likely then say you should go after the client (good luck with that). If he doesn’t stop the check and you do cash it, you will likely get “brandedâ€

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Nothing to be concerned about.

Just do your job. Legal issues regarding ''legal Warranty'' is outside of the scope of the home inspection.

anyhow legally even if there was one, the chain of responsability would end once you got to the owner who was dead. and legally in Quebec the succession cannot b held liable for any issues. So whether stated or not the end result would be the same.

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Hi,

It does seem a little odd; this whole hold the check and difficulty getting the agreement signed would make me uncomfortable too.

If it were me, I think I'd call his broker and tell the broker what was going on. I'd tell the broker that I'm uncomfortable with the whole process and that I don't intend to issue the report until I have a signed agreement and a cashier's check or cash in hand. I'd tell him that I expected him, as the broker, to educate his agent on the way things are supposed to work and to straighten the whole thing out or I'd have to talk to whoever it is that issues real estate licenses there.

I'd probably also call around to other home inspectors in the area, tell 'em that I'd gotten a call from this real estate agent about a job for an overseas client where the agent had told me it wasn't possible to get an agreement signed and wants me to hold his check, and ask them if they knew the guy and whether he was on the up-and-up. If this is the guy's typical modus-operandi, and he's bitten a few other inspectors with it and they never got paid, I'm betting they'll tell you not to go near the guy's clients with a 20ft. pole.

When you think about it, it's not a bad scam. What if it's a situation where he's one of these guys who's hook is that he tells buyer's that he'll pay for the inspection. What if the client never left town and has been there all along and it's a lie. If there are lots of inspectors in the area one could do this a lot of times without getting caught; just go from one to another always getting the inspection done and the information one needs without paying. When you eventually work your way back to the same inspector again you can simply blame that past client, say you never got paid either and say you were just as much a victim as the inspector. You'd probably be able to do it at least twice with the same inspector before he wises up.

Yeah, I know; wild imagination - it's the ex-cop half of me that tends to be suspicious of odd explanations where someone tells me something is true but has nothing to back it up.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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