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Warren County Ohio Real Estate News and Observations

My New Home Is Broken

The recommendation for this one might involve a bulldozer


Let's assume you as a home buyer took our advice and hired a professional home inspector as part of the home buying process.  The home inspector provided you a report of what was right and wrong about the home.

Couple that with the Ohio Residential Property Disclosures provided by the home seller, and we should have a fairly good idea about the home's condition.

But that does come with caveats:

1.  The home inspector's report is a snapshot of the home THAT DAY and no guarantee of how long the home will stay that way.  The inspection might have been limited by weather (e.g. tough to inspect the roof when it's under 4" of snow) or the seller's stuff piled floor to ceiling against a wall.

2.  That the seller is both fully knowledgeable and truthful about the condition of their home AND understands the intent of the questions in the Ohio Residential Property Disclosures.  You can live it a home for years and years and NOT know the outlet in the corner wasn't wired properly or that the DIY project wasn't done up to code.

Based on the report and the disclosures, you may have asked for some repairs.  Ideally the seller agrees and the purchase stays on track.  The seller hires some pros to address the issues and all is well.  There may still be some problems with the home (both known and unknown), but due diligence has been done. 

But after those repairs, homes cans still change.  A home without any plumbing leaks today may start a slow drip tomorrow.  The wind comes in over the weekend and tears off a shingle.  The water heater element goes bad.  These things happen and it doesn't mean the home inspector failed or the seller hid anything.

And IF these things happen after the inspection period, the seller IS responsible for making repairs to bring the home back to the agreed upon condition, or for making some other acceptable arrangement with the buyer to compensate for the change.

But what if the seller isn't aware of the issue?  Or tries to hide a problem?

That's where it can get tricky.  Once we conduct our final walkthrough a day or two before closing and didn't identify a problem, the purchase is basically now an AS IS deal.  Once you sign the papers at closing, the home is now yours, warts and all.  Something breaks the afternoon after the 9 a.m. purchase?  It's now your baby UNLESS you've got the means of proving that it happened prior to closing, the seller knew about it and the seller is willing to take responsiblity for it (e.g. the movers knocked a big hole in the drywall). 

If the seller says no and if the issue is serious enough, your main means of recourse is via the legal system.  That's obviously no fun, likely expensive and time consuming.  And it's also the point at which we as agents hit the limit of what we can and can't do for you.  We're not lawyers and we can't practice law.  In general, unless it's a major expense, you're better off making the repair and chalking it up to one of the costs of home ownership.



Ready to talk buying or selling a Cincinnati area home?  Call Bill of The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite at 513-520-5305 or email

Serving Cincinnati area home buyers and sellers,

Liz and Bill aka BLiz


Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Comment balloon 4 commentsLiz and Bill Spear • November 20 2017 11:32PM
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