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Flash Flooding Inspection After Option Period—Where Do We Stand?

#1
Iowa.
There were major flash floods a week ago while the house we are selling is still in escrow. We didn't get any water in our unfinished basement—none of our personal property was wet, it was very clear there was no "flooding" in our basement, which is amazing because it's a 100+ year old home with cellar rooms off the main basement area and no sump pump.

The buyers insisted on coming to see the basement even though we had sent photos showing there was no water. Each time they step foot in the house they ask for something else, so we were hesitant to let them in for this "additional walk-through" since the option period is well over and we don't close for another three weeks (they weren't requesting this as their final walk-through).

When they went through the basement they moved a bunch of stuff around and found a TINY damp spot on the floor in one of the cellar rooms (clearly that's all there was because all of the cardboard moving boxes around the spot were bone dry). We hadn't noticed it, it's not as if we were trying to hide it. We sincerely hadn't moved every piece of property around searching for wet spots. Now they are asking "do you know where that water came from?" I'm not sure how to answer that.

We have never had water in our basement. The flash floods literally put FEET upon feet of water in many basements around town. We were very lucky and they should feel good about how dry the basement is on this $120K very old home. But they are insisting on coming back tomorrow, I think to bring another inspector? Again, the option period is over. I don't think there is much case for the tiny damp spot in the cellar after massive flooding in the area, but I just want to know what our options are if they pull something ridiculous like asking us to replace the cement slab in that room or something. We wouldn't have to do that, correct? Because that could have been seen as a potential issue during their initial inspection and it wasn't (literally a damp spot people!). So, anything they find (that wasn't a sudden result of the flash flood of course) is on them to fix, and they don't have the option to back out of the deal now (without consequences anyway), correct?

Just want to understand overall as well, if they ask for something that very CLEARLY wasn't a result of flash flooding, we don't have to pay for it and they don't get to walk away, correct? As long as it was clearly discoverable during the option period? Do I have that right? My realtor understands plesentries, but doesn't seem to understand contracts in the slightest.
 
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justalayman

Senior Member
#2
Well, first I would not permit anymore inspections before speaking with your Realtor and if in play, attorney. If they have no right to terminate their offer due to insoection issues, then there is no purpose in allowing inspections
 
#3
My realtor understands pleasentries, but doesn't seem to understand contracts in the slightest.
Which is exactly the reason you take your contract to a lawyer that YOU pay to represent YOU and don't take legal advice from the realtor, the buyer, the buyer's realtor or the buyer's lawyer.

It's possible that the flash flood could have brought problems to light that weren't previously contemplated and give the buyer an out. My speculation (without reading the contract) is worth the same 2 cents as anybody else's.

Denying the buyer access could be a cure worse than the disease.

So get your contract to a lawyer ASAP.
 
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