Agent

Resolving dispute over home repair estimates

Buyers think sellers' contractor choices are inadequate

DEAR BARRY: We are in contract to purchase a house, and our home inspector found problems with the old steam heating system. A follow-up inspection by a heating contractor revealed a cracked boiler. The sellers got three estimates for the work, but the expertise of these contractors is questionable, and their bids say very little about the scope of the work. We have gotten our own estimates from contractors we trust, and their bids are significantly higher than the ones provided by the sellers. When we insisted that the work be done by one of our contractors, the sellers' agent said this was an "outlandish" request. What is your advice in this situation? --Charlie DEAR CHARLIE: There is nothing outlandish about wanting to ensure that a heating system is installed by persons who are truly qualified and who will provide a safe and operational system. If the sellers and their agent find this unreasonable, they should provide evidence that that their contractors a...