Hi friends, I'm Connor with HONOR with the Santa Clarita home experts. We are currently in escrow with a fella I used to work with on the LAPD.
Before there is too much judgment passed on the situation at hand, understand that the home buyer has a choice on whether to continue with the buying of the home. The home seller has a choice on whether or not they are going to honor any of the buyer requests.
That happens in every single transaction.
While a home buyer does not want their "ideal" way of buying a home tarnished, it happens at times.
Upfront and first and foremost, all agents need to advise their clients that homes are sold "AS IS". Without expectation.
If there are issues that are going to impact the ability of the home buyer to obtain a loan, which the home sellers choose not to remedy, the buyer is able to back out.
If the home buyer wants to ask for something to be repaired, i.e. cracked bathroom shower tile that could have been missed by the home inspector (doubtful), and was not present during the time of inspection, probable - there were issues with the shower flow and we all attempted to get it to work properly, we potentially would have seen it if it had existed.
The home seller was playing hardball on this particular flip property. He's a contractor don't you know. He apparently did most of the work himself, without subbing it out.
Back to the master bathroom shower and the cracked tile.
During the final walkthrough to make sure all items that were asked for and granted, were fixed, we encountered these cracked tiles.
The agent who works for a brokerage I have never heard of was quick to quip that those are intentional cuts, not cracks.
They were intentional to get the tile to be placed as it is.
Ah - the crack. Very different than the intentional cut.
However, no matter how much we provide evidence to the home flippers agent, it falls on deaf ears.
Those are cracks in the tile.
They are not intentional cuts by a tile master.
In fact, the person who placed this tile should be ashamed of themselves.
(that is an entirely another story)
However, this still does not change the situation for my home buyer.
I have told my home buyer that they can cancel the transaction. I can hold it up while these issues get worked out.
The great thing is I can talk about it on our Santa Clarita Home Experts blog.
I can show you the photos of the issue and get the truth from those of you who are into tile, those that install tile and those who do bathroom remodels should be able to convey quite an expertise.
The other agent presupposes that I don't have the top blog in Los Angeles County Real Estate. Although our current transaction is in Ventura County, I'm positive that a Los Angeles City tile-layer is going to have the same opinion as an Orange County tile expert.
As you can see - these are two hairline cracks in the tile surrounding the shower assembly.
One at the top and the other at the bottom.
However, a direct quote by the Simi Valley agent pertaining to this transaction is this, "Tile in the master bathroom was and always has been there with a 2-pc seam for installation purposes Note: to remain as is." (bolding mine)
- The Interruptions in Tile are not 90 degrees to any other grout filled seams where the tiles come together.
- The Interruptions in Tile does not obey the rules of good craftsmanship - It's offset from where the center of the operating handle is, appearing as a break would.
- The Interruptions in Tile are not uniformly cut or by appearance cut at all.
- The Interruptions in Tile are not filled with grout which will allow water access into the wall.
- The Interruptions in Tile are not a straight line, they both curve.
- The Interruptions in Tile are not a part of your Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure (A.V.I.D.), nor mine, so it was not there when those were completed.
And there you have it. The agent is saying that it's not an issue. Two-Piece Seam!!!!
So much for "Transparency and Innovation in real estate..."
We paid full price, we stated we would take care of the termites found in the attic by tenting the property after the close of escrow and accepted other issues that had come up.
BTW - that statement was not that simple. The seller had a termite inspection done on their dime, which was free and clear of termites. Our buyer had a termite inspection done at his expense and the inspector found wood-destroying organisms. In fact, he found some which were alive!
While he did not 100% where their origin was, they were in the attic and dead outside of the exterior doors and walls. It could have been the lumber which was bought to be used in the retrofit/flip, having dormant termites - but it's not for sure. So hence the only way to know for sure is to have the home tented. The seller refused to do this for the buyer - but the buyer wanted to continue.
This is the final leg that takes place(unless something happens), the Verification of Property Condition.
The final walkthrough.
These issues came up and were explained with these photos to the listing agent who relayed them to their home seller the flipper.
At the end of the day, every real estate transaction comes down to trust. While we do our best to properly represent our home clients.
The explanation as to whether they have to or choose to continue with the transaction is always key!
A tough position to be in is during the final walkthrough with a not so helpful seller, only to find something that was not as it was before.
The transaction can be stopped until the issue is remedied. However, if there is a "rate lock" in place for the buyer on their loan which doesn't have any more time without penalties and fees to be extended, that is something to consider.
There are many other factors to consider when stopping the course of an escrow in order to enforce something to the home seller, such as the buyer's deposit. Such as other provings and inspections, etc..
As a home buyer, you can walk away and retain your deposit, that initial "handshake" when you made your offer on the seller's home. The deposit would have been something you were made aware of.
Ensuring you are going to get back your deposit if you halt the transaction is important.
On the seller's side, knowing that they will get to keep your deposit as a result of the transaction being canceled is key to them.
As you can see it's a teeter-totter of sorts. One party pushes to get into the air, at the same time they are at their peak, the other party is pushing up as hard as they can.
Just make sure you have someone experienced by your side to deal with all of the issues that are able to come up in what would appear to be a simple real estate transaction.
I'm Santa Clarita Home Experts and I'm glad to be of service.