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Roof needs replaced, who is right?

Situation:
18 y.o house. Home inspection addendum states "LIcensed roofer shall repair/replace missing shingles and any leaks in the roof. Licensed roofer shall certify the roof after completion of all work". The normal certifcation time in this area is 2 years. The roofer fixed the leak the home inspector found but did not want to certify the roof due to its "condition". The sellers got another roofer that found more repairs, then DID certify the roof for 1 year. The roofer said thoug that they normally do 2 years but could not do so because of the condition of this roof and age. They stated the roof would likely need to be replaced within 1 year anyway.
Buyer requests credit for new roof.
What is considered fair?
What would be the letter of the contract as far as seller's obligations? Is the buyer within full right to talk away because the certification does not conform to the normal 2 year for the area?
If other items on the addendum were requested to be removed by seller, and buyer agreed verbally but did not sign revised addendum, is the addendum still considered "in negotiation" therefore the buyer could agree to add credit for new roof to addendum?

Thank you!
  • December 10 2012 - Baltimore
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Answers (5)

Has the roof has hail damage.  If so I would request that the roof be seen by the sellers insurance adjuster.  You need to have your realtor go over your contract and let you know if it looks like your contract is in force.  Also has the house been appraised?  An appraiser is hired by the lender and usually notes the age of the roof.  The lender usually wants the roof to have a longer life then 1 year.   I would talk to your agent and ask about that also.  If all else fells talk to a Real Estate Attorney.
  • December 10 2012
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
You need to discuss these issues with your buyer agent and if you are not satisfied with the outcome of that conversation, then seek legal counsel.  Ultimately, the appraiser for the lender will have the last word.  Good luck!
  • December 10 2012
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Do you know if you are out your inspection period at this point? You need to read your contract to see if you are obligated by the contract to agree to the repairs without the roof certification. You can negotiate with the seller to either add it to the addendum or to split the cost with you for a new roof. 

If you have ANY question about what your obligations are under the contract, I would ask your agent first for their opinion and consult a real estate attorney before you make any new agreement or walk away. Doing that can help you avoid any legal issue with the seller. 
  • December 10 2012
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You're questions  require legal guidance. Even if your state does not require an attorney to represent you in a contract of sale. Your decisions could have legal ramifications my advice speak to an attorney.
Best of luck
  • December 10 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
What's fair?   Totally negotiable. Splitting costs may be reasonable.  Was the current offer price taking into account condition or assuming a house in perfect condition?   There is no right or wrong.   However, without a roof that can be certified for several years, no buyer will be able to get a loan.   Therefore, if the seller chooses to reject the request then the home will likely go to only cash buyers (a much smaller buying segment).

The buyer may be able to walk away, depends on their contract.   Please review with your agent.

It is surprising an 18 yo house would have a roof in such poor shape.
  • December 10 2012
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