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Termite Damages AFTER Contract Before Closing

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M

Mkygaga

Guest
Termite Damages discovered AFTER Contract BUT Before Closing

New York State --- HHHHEEELLLPPP!!!!!!!!

I am a buyer in contract after having house inspected by a licnesed "inspector". After contract, we got a specialized termite inspector, as the contract stated we had 15 days after contract to do so.

Termite man found damage (even though the "general" inspector did not). A Licensed Engineer indicated damages could run to $8,000-$20,000. Seller got an estimate for $900. Obviously, seller's estimate is to fix what can be seen and not what is up the walls or under the flooring.

After much debate, we were told seller is going to proceed with repairs and proceed to close. We want out, but the seller does not. We gave seller's attorney copies of both the termite man's report and the engineer's report.

Clause in contract reads that if damage is found, seller has right to back out OR repair the damage. It is silent as to whose satisfaction the damage has be repaired. There was no clause that we can back out if the damage is extensive, etc.

We were advised to let her do whatever she wants, and have it re-inspected by our engineer after the repairs are done. When the repairs (---most likely---) will NOT be done as the engineer indicated they should be, we should NOT SHOW UP at closing, and then sue seller for our $10,000 we put down at contract.

Does this sound correct? We were also advised we may be entitled to treble damages (I may have the wrong legal term). Is this so? I could care less- I just want my $10k back.

ALSO - how can we be sure the next contract we enter "covers us" for this and other unforseen damages?

Thanks SO much!
 
Last edited:


HomeGuru

Senior Member
Mkygaga said:
New York State

I am a buyer in contract after having house inspected by a licnesed "inspector". After contract, we got a specialized termite inspector, as the contract stated we had 15 days after contract to do so.

Termite man found damage (even though the "general" inspector did not). Licensed Engineer indicated damages could run to $8,000-$20,000. Seller got an estimate for $900. Obviously, seller's estimate is to fix what can be seen and not what is up the walls or under the flooring.

After much debate, we were told seller is going to proceed with repairs and proceed to close. We want out, but the seller does not. We gave seller's attorney copies of both the termite man's report and the engineer's report.

Clause in contract reads that if damage is found, seller has right to back out OR repair the damage. It is silent as to whose satisfaction the damage has be repaired. There was no clause that we can back out if the damage is extensive, etc.

We were advised to let her do whatever she wants, and have it re-inspected by our engineer after the repairs are done. When the repairs (most likely) will NOT be done as the engineer indicated they should be, we should NOT SHOW UP at closing, and then sue seller for our $10,000 we put down at contract.

Does this sound correct? We were also advised we may be entitled to treble damages. Is this so?

ALSO - how can we be sure the next contract we enter "covers us" for this and other unforseen damages? I don't believe our attorney served us well, or there would have been a clause for us to safely back out.


**A: you have not been given proper advice. Consult a real estate attorney to advise you accordlngly.
 
M

Mkygaga

Guest
Thanks for the reply - can you (or anyone) embellish a bit? What should I be doing?

Also, the contract read we were to close "on or about" August 1, 2002. We are now approaching the end of August. If seller does not complete repairs prior to the 31st of August, is she in breech?

Thanks again.
 
A bit confused as to what the damages were, structural or purely termite damage related? The inspector, unless also a licensed termite person, is not there to look for nor can he even mention termites. Also they do not look under flooring or in walls. What was the structural engineer called in for? If you met the parimeters of your contract, then your realtor/and or attorney should be able to get you out. Unfortunately, a seller can be in control of who does repairs but if upon reinspection the repairs were not done properly it seems to me that not showing up would not serve you well either. Don't know about the legal issues of that. Best of Luck.
 
M

Mkygaga

Guest
Thanks for the reply.

The damages are structural - a few feet of sill plate and 30 feet of lineal joist. Moreover, the area to which we are referring to borders an area of the home with a crawl space that is inaccessible to a human person (and out of code by the way). So, the engineer indicated that this area has "high probability" of being affected beyond the field of vision.....under the flooring and up the walls of the kitchen.

The structural engineer was brought in after the termite guy to ascertain and estimate the EXTENT of the damage (the termite man said his job is just to find bugs). Not in my wildest dreams would I have thought $20,000.

The floor area actually is "spongy" (it gives ever so slightly as you walk on it). I pointed this out to our original inspector -- and he said it was just the house settling!!!!!!

The attorney / judge who recommended we "don't show" at closing merely was trying to tell us to NOT "close" on the house. If we close, we cannot turn around and sue the seller for damages which were not repaired properly. Termite damage is wierd in the sense you have to literally remove sheet-rock, etc. to determine how damaged the area really is.

I pray that we can get our $10k back. This is a nightmare.


:(
 

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