Bay Area Home Buying Deal Issue! Need inputs

We signed a contract with the seller that stated “Seller to pay for repair costs for the items discovered via inspection” . This is because seller had not done any inspection and only shared the disclosures. During inspection we discovered water in stagnant crawl space and inoperable sump pump (This wasn’t disclosed by seller). We had inspection done from licensed people
(termite+ home+ roof+foundation) and found more $15,000 worth section 1 , section 2 and foundation issue, sump pump repair. Now the seller refuses to pay or fix the issue himself. They claim these are cosmetic changes! We have spent more than $2000 on inspection. Please advice what are my options?

Based on my own experience, if you had an inspection contingency, you have the right to terminate the current contract and renegotiate a new one with the seller (with price adjustment based on the new findings). I wouldnt expect to be reimbursed for inspection fees or wait for the seller to do the repairs though. It would probably be mutually beneficial to sign another agreement since it may not be worth the trouble of finding a new house/buyer? If you present the inspection report to the seller I believe there is an obligation to disclose it to any future prospective buyers of the property.


Odds are $16k is small compared to the price of the home. Of you really want the home then pay for it yourself. Your leverage is they’ll have to disclose those findings to future buyers. Maybe they’ll discount the price and you pay for the repairs yourself?

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I agree with Marcus. $15k is not a lot of money relative to the total home price. In the long run, that amount means even less. How badly do you want this house? Can you guys meet in the middle and get maybe $10k off?

It is amazing how many deals get blown up over minor details. That is why multiple offers are so powerful

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What city/county? I think that would make some difference. If you’re looking at Stockton, your choices may differ from Los Altos.

1- Re-do the contract and think about the possibilities of no other house alike being for you anywhere. Is it worth it? Is it a good location? Close to your job maybe?

2- Walk away. By seller not obeying the arbitrage written on the contract, you won’t suffer economically but losing the $ spent on inspection.

good luck!

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Most repairs can be deferred and prices inflated. Get some bids. Finding water in crawl space in one of the biggest winters ever is not a big deal.

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“Seller to pay for repair costs for the items discovered via inspection” . Does this line in the contract hold no value? Are they not accountable for signing the contract? Seller seems doesn’t want to pay for repair or fix the issue or reduce the price

Surprised that seller is unwilling to pay for the repairs, could be that they don’t have the cash! Ask your realtor/ lawyer for advice whether it can be deducted from the selling price. So your options are to walk away or force a deduction in selling price. My experience is even for million dollar property in SFBA, seller is cheap, yes very cheap, I recall my last purchase of a $1M property from a seller who damage the garage door spring while moving out of the house and refuse to pay for it citing “as it” - cost of repair is merely $400, finally he paid after his realtor persuaded him that “as it” does not apply since it a clear case that it wasn’t damage at the point of contract.

  1. eat up the cost and fix it yourself


  1. walk away and lose your inspection fees

No other choices left.


Thanks! We are ok if he reduces the price OR fixes it himself from a licensed contractor OR pays for the repair. But the seller refuses to do any!

Milpitas Area


I have no experience seller to repair in SFBA since I have always bought “without contingency”. However in Austin, sellers always agree to repair or reduce purchase price.

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Ok. Surprised the seller accepted your offer with that clause. They probably intended to ignore it all along. How you proceed would depend on the market and the time the house was on the market, and whether there were multiple offers.

If the house was on the market >30 days, you have some leverage to ask for a price reduction because it doesn’t look good at all for a house to be on for a while then back on the market. if you were in a bidder war, though, house on < 21 days, the seller can easily call up #2/#3 bids and see what they say.

Either way, you should at least ask for a price reduction–worst that happens is they say “no”. Also it’s generally advised that you do the work yourself to make sure it’s done right, not cheaply. But there’s a question about getting a loan for the work if you can’t afford the $15K.

Any loan officer here that can dip in with a solution if OP buys it as is?

If inspections say “there’s damage by dry rot, or termites, etc” worth $15K, will escrow close if such repairs are not done?

I know for a fact that a damage on the corner of our garage was an issue. Escrow wouldn’t close if such damage wasn’t repaired (a drunk person drove over the 15MPH sign, bent it, and ended up crashing against our garage)

They had to repair it, and then paint it for escrow to close. I had to sign an affidavit saying I would paint over it later due to cement being wet.

Also, don’t you think buyer can sue the seller to perform, deliver as stated in contract?

I think so!


Not sure you can sue the seller, but good points on the loan.

It would probably cost more than $15k for a lawsuit to force them to do it. Plus, there’s the time it would take.

If $15K is hard for you to stomach, I suggest you to go find out how much the next highest bid is (assuming yours is the highest). If there’s a big gap between yours and the runner up then you might as well walk away and see what happens.

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