07:23PM | 07/30/04
Member Since: 07/29/04
4 lifetime posts
Any timely advice on the following situation is greatly appreciated:

As the buyer, I am currently in a contract to purchase a condo for $66,000 and the seller is to pay $2,000 towards closing. The seller has agreed to this and has signed the contract.

Upon having the property inspected it was determined that the A/C needed servicing. We presented this to the seller (along with other things that needed fixing). He agreed to fix everything on the list, and said he was going to 'replace' the air conditioner, but then stated that he was not going to pay the $2,000 toward closing costs.

As it turns out, the same phone call that we learned of the sellers intentions to replace the A/C, his realtor said ....'in fact he has already started.' Sure enough I drove by and a new unit had been installed. This is within 48 hours of us giving him the list of deficiencies.

Since he did that (and is now not going to pay closing), it sticks me with having to come up with $2,000 more that I originally did not have to come up with. Furthermore, perhaps I would have settled with having the current A/C unit 'serviced' (much cheaper) since I was going to buy a home warranty anyway. Now that option is gone.

In effect the seller is agreeing to fix something and then asking me to pay for it (only he's not asking, he did it).

It is common sense that a house with a broken A/C will not bring the same price as a house with an A/C that works properly.

He certainly did not advertise 'Condo for sale with A/C not working too good.'

When we negotiated and came to a meeting place on the price, it is understood to mean a house in sound mechanical order. Once discovered that the A/C unit needed servicing, I believe it to be the borrower's responsibility to fix it, and that he has no right to ask me to pay for it (outright or any other way - him backing out of paying closing).

At a bare minimum I feel he should have presented me with the option. 1. A new A/C or 2. $2,000 towards closing.

To make a point, I asked my realtor "Can he also put in marble floors and gold plate the bathtub and then tell me he wants $100,000 now?"

I don't want to back out of the contract. I want the seller to be held responsible to the original deal.

What do you think?


08:30PM | 07/30/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
558 lifetime posts
First of all, you already have an agreement. No point in tossing it out over this level of dispute. The guy was real stand-up about replacing the AC, and it cost him plenty. Any way you cut it, this $2000 is only 3% of the deal. (and I might add, its a really cheap deal you can't find anything that price around here).

You need to reach out in appreciation of what was done, and meet this seller at least half way. My guess is he might be motivated enough to do the other half. You get to live with new more efficient AC rather than a serviced unit, that probably drove him nuts; the seller is entitled to be paid for the place he is selling. He really went beyond what he had to. In my opinion, you need to compromise on this and move on.


07:31AM | 07/31/04
Member Since: 07/29/04
4 lifetime posts
Thank you for your reply. The units in this complex were selling for an average of $74 per square foot of living area. The sellers original asking price was $79 per square foot. When you are asking $5 per square foot more than the average, the condo better be in top notch condition. Paying this much, the A/C should be in perfect working order. Furthermore, the value of the unit did not go up by the seller installing the new unit. Once we settled on a price and then discovered the condition of the A/C, the seller should either lower his asking price OR fix the A/C at his expense. You called him a real 'stand up' guy. Well I would agree with that assessment if he fixed the air conditioner at his expense since he is already getting paid above average for the condo. But putting in a new A/C and then having the nerve to ask me to pay for it is just wrong. If you were the buyer, you would agree to help pay?

Thank you again for your time and reply.

Have a great day!


09:50AM | 07/31/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi Clay,

Just an opinion here...

I was just wondering, since you're paying more than average why do you still want the contract to go through? You're right--with condos (unlike single family homes) improvements generally don't make much difference in their value. And there's LOTS of places for sale out there!

I'm no real estate expert, but in my experience, when things start going wrong there's a good likelihood that both sides won't make it to the closing table. I've heard it said that buying a home is kind of like becoming engaged to be married. Both parties are serious--but there's still a lot that can happen before closing!

Remember also: the strongest word you can use in negotiation is "NO!" This assumes you are at a point where you can back out of the contract (which I'm not at all clear about).


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


09:29PM | 08/01/04
Member Since: 07/29/04
4 lifetime posts
Hi, thank you for your advice. The main reason I want to proceed with the contract (even though I am paying on the high side) is, like they say in real estate..... location, location, location. It's a great location that I think I will always be able to rent out, whenever I move out.

Aside from that, right now I am renting and to sign another lease would be just throwing away more money (around $3,500 for a six month lease, or $7,000 for a year lease).

I have made a decision regarding the current contract and just waiting to hear back from the seller's agent now.

Thank you again.


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