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Earnest money not being returned, inspection revealed water in crawl space

I had a house inspected and there was significant level of moisture found in crawl space and water puddles in the vapor prevention plastic in the crawl space. I asked the sellers realtor to refund my earnest money as I am not satisfied with the inspection. The realtor said she cannot return earnest money since the Seller is trying to fix the issue. Seller had experienced flood waters in 2009 and installed a sump pump system with lifetime warranty to keep water and moisture away from crawl space but seems like the system is not working properly. The seller is working on fixing the water issue with the a crawl space water company. The house overall is in good condition. Any advice would be helpful. 
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November 01 2013 - US
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Answers (5)

Call the broker and tell the broker you want to terminate the agreement based on the inspection contingency.

You cannot be forced to buy a property whether the seller is willing to fix it or not.  Read your contract word for word in the inspection contingency paragraphs.

It is unethical for her to refuse to allow you to terminate the agreement.
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November 01 2013
She is a dual agent. All listings are owned by the office and the broker, if you deal with any 2 agents in that office it is a dual agency situation, it does not have to be the same agent you deal with that has it listed and as your agent, any 2 agents in the same office makes it a dual agency and they must treat you both (buyer-seller) as EQUALs. So they have to not treat you differently. Anything the seller says and anything your say can be shared with the other, so be careful. Your agent has a double incentive to make the deal work or she loses a lot of commission and this can sway her thinking, maybe even the office brokers too since they get a little cut of commissions too.

The question to you is if it is fixed do you still want it? If the answer is yes, go forward. If the answer is no then draw up the papers and sign it and be ready to speak with a lawyer if you have to.

Good luck


tim
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November 01 2013
Send a notice to seller to perform immediately.
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November 01 2013
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I am in Indiana and there are 12 more days remaining in the inspection period still. The Realtor told me that the seller is contacting and working with the crawl space water proofing agency to fix the issue. Realtor said I cannot back out if the seller is willing to fix the issue. The Realtor has listed the property for sale and I called her to buy the house so technically she is the seller's realtor right.
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November 01 2013
Not sure how your offer to purchase agreements are written where you are, but if there is an inspection period or due diligence period you should be able to bail out in that time period. The agent you are dealing with has a boss and that is the office broker and it sounds like you might need to talk with them. You don't mention "your" Realtor making me wonder if you are dealing with a dual agency situation where the commission to one agent is doubled and so makes them less likely to want to end the contract. This is a common problem with dual agency.

Get a release drawn up and talk with the office broker if you are not happy. Sooner is better so get on it.


tim
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November 01 2013
 
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