Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Ending for Las Vegas Home Inspection

A few days ago I posted a letter on this blog from one our Las Vegas real estate inspectors, Spectrum Inspections. The letter addressed the responsibility of the listing agents to disclose known defects on Las Vegas foreclosures they were handling, despite the fact that the properties were being sold "as is, where is." In this particular case, the inspector was aware that the listing agent had ordered mold remediation done on the property prior to placing it on the market, though there was no disclosure about the remediation to the subsequent buyers. The inspector's quandary was whether or not to let the listing agent know about their potential liability to the buyer, since Las Vegas real estate agents are required to disclose all known material defects about a property, even though the property is being sold "as is, where is."

Below are excerpts from the inspector's follow up letter detailing the resolution that resulted from alerting the listing agent to the issues.

Dear Diann,

I would like to thank the many people who responded to my request for guidance and provided me with input. Most of the guidance and direction recommendations that I received were very similar. However there were a wide array of suggestions that ranged from, "Do nothing; you're just the home inspector," to "you must take this issue to the state legislature to ensure this type of thing never happens again." Some people thought we were over stepping our boundaries as home inspectors, while others complimented our involvement. During my twenty-one years in the military one lesson I learned was that the proper initial course of action is always to try and resolve problems at the lowest level. This is what I did.

When I called the Listing Agent and spoke about the potential liability he may be incurring by not disclosing material information that he should disclose in accordance with the "Duties Owed" he was very grateful and receptive. He went on at great length about how he is buried with REO listings and appreciated me bringing this issue to his attention. He is a good guy, trying to do the right thing, and did not need to be either reprimanded or incarcerated.

He sent an addendum to the Selling agent disclosing that the home was plumbed with Kitec. He also sent the Selling Agent copies of all the repair orders, documentation of the repairs that were accomplished, and even forwarded the results of the post mold remediation testing that was performed. It appears that his actions to address the damage and the mold were done by the book. The buyers were very grateful that nothing seemed to be glossed over and now feel that they received the level of disclosure they were entitled to receive.

We also suggested the Listing Agent contact the Asset Manager, request that the Kitec replumb be accomplished prior to title transfer at the bank / current homeowners expense, and to have the prospective buyer sign an agreement that assigns any remuneration from the class action lawsuit to the bank that paid to have the replumb accomplished. Everyone involved thought it was a good path of resolution that created a win/win situation. The buyers are willing to move forward with the transaction once the replumb is accomplished, and will have a better than expected 25 year warranty on the plumbing system. All the repairs the Listing Agent had performed were professionally accomplished and this was confirmed during the course of our inspection. The buyers are now looking forward to spending the Christmas holidays in their new Las Vegas home.

A great home inspection will not only uncover all the significant problems with the home, but will provide you with a course of action or path of resolution for addressing the issues. Both agents in the transaction were delighted at the level of involvement we provided. Don't you love a happy ending?

Paul J. Donohue, RHI, RREI, CREI
President, Spectrum Inspection Group Inc.
8345 Coyado StreetLas Vegas, NV 89123
Phone: (702) 269-6716

Have a question about homes for sale in Las Vegas? Contact us at 702-985-7654!