Agent

A home defect whodunit

Buyer seeks upper hand in negotiating repair costs

DEAR BARRY: My sister purchased a house and is having electrical problems. The previous owners bought the home, remodeled it, and then resold it. The real estate agent said the house had been inspected and there were no problems. But every night the upstairs lights blink on and off, and an electrician says the house is not properly grounded. Who is responsible for these repairs: the sellers, the agent, the home inspector, or my sister? --Tyler DEAR TYLER: The sellers are liable only if they knew about the electrical problems and failed to disclose them. Whether they actually knew is probably not discoverable. However, it wouldn't hurt to contact them to see if they would be willing to assume or to share the cost of the repairs. The home inspector is liable only if your sister had a contractual relationship with him. If she did not hire the inspector, she probably has no claim against him, especially if she did not receive a copy of the report. The problem here is with the ...

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