Buying or Selling a Home/Discloure
QUESTION: I had a small crack in the foundation of my condo in Massachusetts. I repaired it. I thought that was the end of it. I accepted an offer, signed the purchase and sale and buyer's inspection made no note of it. 2 weeks before closing, I receive a letter from the condo management company saying it must be disclosed and at my expense have a structural engineer to look at it. So at that time it was disclosed, and I immediately made arrangements for the engineer . His report showed the foundation is sound and there are no structural issues. Well unfortunately the buyer backed out because they felt I lied to them. I seriously did not think it was an item to be disclosed. My question now is when we put the condo back on the market are we obligated to make a disclosure since the engineer found it to be a non issue? And can the management company force me to ?
Thank you so much for your advice. I just want to do the right thing . But I'm afraid buyers may be afraid of the disclosure even though everything has been proven to be fine.
Foundation cracks are rarely problematic. Disclosing them even less so; having had the engineer look at it will not deter most buyers. Truthfully, if it is a standard settlement crack, the buyer got some bad advice when he walked, and the home inspector should not have made a deal over it.
At any rate, disclosure is the way to go. It won't deter many buyers, and the buyers it deters will just walk for something else.
I would, though, check your condo docs to make sure you "own" the foundation. Many complexes the foundation is owned by the association - and thus the crack is their problem, not yours. That means they shouldn't make you pay for an engineer!! As far as them forcing you to disclose, that is also in the condo docs. Basically though, it looks like they are trying to have their cake and eat it too. If the foundation is yours, I can't see how they have the right to force disclosure. If it is theirs, they can force disclosure, but they would need to pay for the engineer. They could have special rules in there, but most docs I have read would not allow the situation as you have described it.
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QUESTION: Thank you so much for your response. I have one other question and I'd like your opinion. I really want to sell this condo so I can buy a house. It has been on the market since July 1. We had one other buyer and that fell through because they needed to sell their house and their buyers couldn't get financing. That was in August. Then came the disclosure issue with the most recent buyer opting out recently. I'd like to re list in January but there seems to be mixed opinions about the days on the market having a negative affect on potential buyers. Do you think it is better for me to list in January or wait until spring? I think regardless of a reset of Dom buyers and agents can still look up history . What would you advise?
Again, I appreciate your advice.
Any listing/re-listing strategy should be discussed with your local agent. There are different pluses and minuses and the strategy that they take will depend on what they think would be most effective for your condo, local market, and current buying patterns. That's a long way of saying there's no one-size-fits-all to marketing property.
A local expert is the way to go. Let me know if you need help finding one.
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