Sellers: Don’t blame us for wall rot

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

DEAR BARRY: We sold our house a few months ago and signed a disclosure statement that said no water problems existed. But the new owners found carpenter ants in a closet, which led them to rip off the drywall and remove the hardwood flooring. What they found was rot in the wall. No one could have known about this rot, but the new owners say we should have seen water stains on the subfloor when we installed the hardwood flooring last year. We don't recall any stains or we would have disclosed them. And there was no moisture, or we would have addressed the matter before installing the new flooring. Do you think we are liable for nondisclosure? --Mitch DEAR MITCH: Most people would pay little notice to dry water stains on an old wooden subfloor. Even a professional home inspector would have no cause for concern if the stains were dry and there was no apparent damage. A typical disclosure in a home inspection report might be, "Dry stains on closet subfloor indicate a prev...