Darleen McCullen, REALTOR®, Broker
Keller Williams Realty
As a Buyer, what would you do if you purchased a home and later discovered that there was hot water in the toilet?
As a Seller, would you feel that you even would have to disclose this Buyer - because after all, they will probably have a home inspection, right?
What I'm about to tell you is a TRUE STORY - and the results may surprise you.
I know someone who purchased a property and the first weekend they moved into the home, they found that there was hot water in the toilet. Yes, you read it correctly!
Apparently, the hot and cold water lines were crossed during construction - and the Seller never requested that the Builder to correct the problem.
The property was approximately 6 years old - and before purchasing, the Buyers had a home inspection to determine if there were any problems with the structure. Hot water in the toilet is NOT one of the required things on the home inspectors' list of items for which to check.
When the Buyer flushed the toilet, there was actually steam coming up from the bowl!
Now...I won't go into details about HOW the Buyer figured out there was HOT WATER in the toilet - but I'll allow you to use your imagination.
Once the "issue" was discovered, the Buyer phoned the Seller and said something to the effect of, "I'm sure you didn't know about this, but there's hot water in the master bathroom toilet, but I wanted to let you know. I'm planning to call a plumber on Monday to see what could be done about it since it'll surely be a problem if/when I go to sell the property later."
Seller's response: "Yes, we knew about it. But it was that way when we moved in. When we called a plumber, he said it would be $2,000 to fix it, so we didn't. It's your problem now."
Long story short...
The Buyer called a plumber who said this was a problem - and the porcelain toilet could crack or burst, although it hadn't thus far. Also, the hot water had caused rusted toilet parts - and the toilet had to be rebuilt.
The Buyer paid for the hot and cold water lines to be switched, as well as to fix the rusted toilet parts.
The Seller refused to reimburse the Buyers - so the Buyer took the Seller to Small Claims Court in North Carolina and WON!! When the Seller refused to pay up, the Buyer threatened to place a lien on the Sellers' current home. The Seller eventually paid up - with interest.
The moral of this story is...
Sellers DISCLOSE everything that you think may be a problem. And just because "It was that way when we purchased the house" may not hold up in Court. And...
Buyers you have RIGHTS if you feel that something wasn't disclosed to you. There's no guarantee, of course, that you'll win in court, but it's your right if you can't work it out with the Seller.
Question for all the REALTORS®:
If you knew about this problem, would you have advised your client to disclose it?
REALTOR® on a Mission... NOT Just Seeking a Commission!TM Phone
: 919.454.8864 Website
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed by those who are part of the ActiveRaincommunity, including those providing comments relating to this blog, are their opinions and their alone - and do NOT reflect the opinions of Darleen McCullen and Keller Williams Realty. Darleen McCullen and Keller Williams Realty are not responsible for the accuracy (or lack thereof) or content provided by others.