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Removal Recourse

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Posted On: 01/19/2011

Q:

When we purchased our, home part of the agreement was that the sellers would leave the custom dining room carpet and pad in place. However, these items were removed prior to closing. What can we do?

A:

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Your real estate agreement required the sellers to deliver both the property and the carpeting as part of the transaction. The missing items should have been noted during the walk-through before settlement. Then the easiest solution is to cite the requirement at closing and either get a credit for a replacement carpet and pad or have the closing agent set up an escrow account and withhold money until the seller returns the promised items.

Q:

It rained the first week after we bought our house and we found out the tile roof leaked. We had the home inspected prior to closing and the owners did not disclose this problem. We later found out they had worked on the roof and knew about the leak, but did not disclose. The repairs are costing us big money. What can we do?

A:

It may be that in good faith the owners had the roof repaired and therefore did not believe there was any leak to report. With the repair there may not have been damage to be found with a professional inspection.

Since there was a professional repair, check to see if the work is backed by a warranty – and if the warranty applies to new owners.

Q:

We bought a home with a central vacuum. When we moved in the attachments were missing. Can we force the sellers to return the attachments or pay for new ones?

A:

If you did not catch this at closing the odds are that it will not be worthwhile to pursue the owners for either the attachments or cash. Instead of “force,” the better approach may be diplomacy and a nice note asking for the return of the missing items.

Peter G. Miller is the author of The Common-Sense Mortgage and a veteran real estate columnist. Have a question? Please write to peter@ctwfeatures.com.

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