Buying or Selling a Home/survey at closing


Good Morning.   We are in Indiana. My sister bought her dream house and closed on it in late June.  House was listed as 4,000+ Sq Ft, 5 bedrooms, and 5.1 acres.  Was actually 3,400 sq ft, 2 bedrooms + 2 dens and a loft, and 4.2 acres. She found out a few days before the hurry-up closing about the acreage and footage, but the house was perfect for her and they closed.  The sellers were to provide a survey for the closing, but the only one provided was from 1974.  Is that legal?  Her realtor was no help at all and I think she forgot who she was working for.  The sellers are building on adjoining property, I think my sister  should confirm her actual property boundaries; can she make the sellers do a current survey, since they have already closed?

Based on what you say, Beth, that Realtor left a lot to be desired. Anything, and I do mean anything, that should have been performed as part of the Realtor's service must be completed. If not, there are a couple ways to make sure it is:

Demand that your sister's dissatisfaction be addressed and completed from the agent's broker/manager. Tell him or her that you intend to take the matter to the local Board of Realtors and based on what you have indicated, it will be done. I am positive.

Failing that, talk with a good local real estate attorney and mention the disparity between what was represented and what was actually sold to your sister. When the broker/manager sees that you intend to seek satisfaction through the courts, your sister will indeed get what she paid for. Brokers detest, fear, having to go to court.

Just one thing, Beth. Why was there a hurry-up closing? If it was at your sister's request, you may find that she will not get the complete satisfaction you think she wants. It may be considered mitigated circumstances. Or your sister may have allowed the seller to skim over what was proper.

Also, if the Realtor was the listing agent, you have to realize that she represented the seller and the seller pays her commission. However, your sister should have been asked to sign a dual agency agreement, which makes sure your sister understood the business relationship there. But that does not release the listing agent from making sure the buyer is getting what she is paying for, including the survey. Attorneys love these kinds of cases.

I do wish you well.

Dick Dennis,
Calif. Broker since 1971

Buying or Selling a Home

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Dick Dennis


With more than 41 years as a real estate broker, I can solve most any problem presented. If I can`t, I do my research. Problems with mortgages, trust deeds, foreclosures, odd ways of conveying titles. Most any good Realtor can answer questions satisfactorily, but I answer questions that most cannot. Also, ask about my hard-copy newsletter, The Landed Gentry. It can also be sent to you via PDF.


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