Q: I’ve been reading your “100 Questions Every First-time Home Buyer Should Ask” book. I think my fiance Eric and I may have run into a bit of a problem.
At least he thinks we have. He is buying a house off of his friend. There are no lawyers involved.
His friend is using a real estate agent to “help” with the paperwork. I was not there when Eric signed all of the paperwork to give the go ahead for the inspection and mortgage approval. What is upsetting Eric is that he signed a document that states “total cost of repairs of buyer and inspection not to exceed $1,000”. He is worried in retrospect that this means that we are responsible for any repairs in excess of $1,000. I don’t know if this is enough wording for you to understand the contract. It is all that he has given me. He really hasn’t paid attention to when I was reading your book out loud. So I’m sure there is not an inspection contingency. In the case that there are a lot of problems with this house are we able to get out of a contract? Thank you in advance for a response. This has become the biggest nightmare.
A: You signed a contract that limits the seller to paying for the first $1,000 of any problems with the home. You will be obligated (I’m saying this not having read the contract) to purchase this home even if the inspector discovers that the entire foundation must be replaced.
You and your fiance must immediately go talk to a real estate attorney about your options. And while you’re at it, file a complaint with the state agency that licenses real estate agents. I don’t think your real estate agent served you well at all here.
I hope Eric didn’t sign your name to the contract (that’s fraud). You will not be obligated, but the truth is, if you marry him, I’m sure you’ll assume the obligation for this purchase.
I’m a little worried about this happening without you being there or consulted. You and Eric need to sit down and do this together — both of your futures, and your future together, are on the line.
Good luck, and let me know how the inspection goes.