Mimi Foster, Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor (Falcon Property Company)

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Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

wow... I would suggest the seller consult with an attorney.

In my "non-lawyer" opinion... it seems that the buyer's/side is responsible for returning the property to it's former condition.  The fact that the buyer's agent didn't do their due diligence and know that they have 2 outstanding insurance claims, would make them vulnerable to a lawsuit.

If the plumber doesn't have insurance... I'm sure the buyer's agent's agency does.


Personally, I would have offered a $2,000 credit toward the repair, and the buyer would have done the work, and used whomever they liked, after they took possession ... and now this would be their problem.

Jul 29, 2022 12:36 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

In a transaction right now. The buyer found a plumbing issue. My seller evaluated it and got an estimate from a licensed plumber for $2,000. Seller and buyer both agreed to credit rather than repair. 

Mimi, I believe the buyer/buyer's agent needs legal advice.

Jul 29, 2022 01:05 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Oh, such a sad situation, Mimi! I would have simply had the seller contribute the $2K at Closing and allow the buyer to correct the defect AFTER Closing. 


Now that the deal is done, as the agent, I would seek counsel from my corporate attorney and the E&O representative.

Jul 29, 2022 12:46 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

I suppose the owners should contact their Homeowners insurance for coverage to repair ASAP. Would their insurance company then sue the Plumbing Company to recover costs? If he is licensed and bonded, the bond might cover the costs.

Jul 29, 2022 12:30 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Consult with my attorney for guidance.

One misstep without legal counsel could create another flood of a different variety. 

What attorneys see in my market is too many agents pointing fingers and trying to resolve issues without fully understanding the ramifications of their actions.  

Jul 29, 2022 12:04 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

So the licensed plumber who was hired sent his unlicensed worker in his place to make the repair. And it's still not repaired because the unlicensed plumber screwed the job up and the licensed plumber cannot afford to fix the damage?


WOW. What a terrible situation.


I agree with Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist and would get legal advice. My gut says that plumber will be responsible for all the repairs whether he has money or not... but my gut doesn't know law.

Jul 29, 2022 12:14 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

A sad situation. Agents need to be careful with their recommendation. First, check to see if insurance covers the damage. The home owner will have to decide what to do about any legal claims.

Jul 29, 2022 12:11 PM
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

How sad all around!  I'm thinking a lien on plumber will be required but BA and Brokerage needs to be ready to be sued too.  Realtors always get invited to the big court party. 

Jul 29, 2022 02:25 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

1st call would be to real estate attorney and get advice as BA. Follow advice. Clearly for the LA, as you said hindsight is 20/20, and no doubt would have handled it differently.

Jul 29, 2022 02:14 PM
Shayne Stone
HomeSmart - Fulshear, TX
"Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"

This is just another good reason when someone ask for repairs, that I suggest to my Sellers - just give them a discount and let them get the repairs done after the closing!!! 


PS - It's never failed...


Jul 29, 2022 01:59 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Would have done my best to use who the seller would want to use. I would have had the buyer sign off for repairs & damages for this guy. It's actually hindsight now.

There's $7,000 that's unaccounted for so they'll try to go after the agents. 

Jul 29, 2022 01:20 PM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

Hire and attorney to sue the plumber is about the only recourse I can see that works and the whole blood/turnip thing.

Jul 29, 2022 12:58 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Any tradesman can fail whatever reason and how are we supposed to know that? The some of the answer for now is perhaps a negotiated "happy" place for all involved. On hindsight, (and foresight if you use my example), I like just giving the people an amount to put toward the repairs with some wording that says: Payment in full for any and all claims, known or unknown, now or in the future regarding subject property.  Then, they can do repairs whenever they want and to their satisfaction. 

Jul 29, 2022 01:17 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Homeowner's insurance co.

OH I SEE insurance is only covering 5k? Why?

Start with attorney though.

What a freakin cluster!

Jul 29, 2022 12:56 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I'll start with the usual disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.  You should consult with a competent real estate attorney who is familiar with the laws of your state.


Now with that said, I would call the buyer's agent's Broker and have a talk with them.  The plumber should be responsible, but since they are flaking this is now the responsibility of the Broker since their agent recommended the plumber and personally vouched for them.


Yes, this is why credits are better than repairs.  Yes, this is why we give a listing of several providers and don't recommend one over the other.

Jul 29, 2022 07:10 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Our contracts state that a licensed professional must do any repair work, for good reason!  The plumber should have had a licensed professional take on the job or done it himself. He is open to being responsible for the entire cost, of course, consulting with an attorney is best. A credit at closing would have been beneficial for all parties, Mimi. 

Jul 29, 2022 05:41 PM
Peter Mohylsky, Beach Expert
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL
Call me at 850-517-7098

Interesting story, the devil in the details.  Anything here in writing about who the plumber was actually working for?   Seller contracted for the plumber to do the work.  So.  But hang on.

Jul 29, 2022 12:57 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

 It would appear that the Buyer and Buyer's Agent are responsible.  If they don't want to pay up, then Legal Counsel is in order.  And have that lawyer go after the Buyer and the Buyer's Agent, not the incompetent Plumber.


  Also, I didn't see in your story, "Did it close yet?"


Jul 30, 2022 07:16 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Sounds like an attorney should be contacted.  This does not sound good.

Jul 29, 2022 09:15 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Alan May just saved me a lot of time writing a response. His is perfect and it's what I would have advised, as well.

Jul 29, 2022 02:27 PM
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, SRES
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

Issue credit at closing then have the buyer use whoever they want and make it their problem.  

Jul 29, 2022 01:32 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

The buyers need to sue the sellers for the balance. You compile all your emails and documents proving your version of the story and be ready to help them in that way. There's really nothing more for you to do as this will either be a small claims court case or they'll hire a lawyer if it exceeds $10,000.00. The agents role is providing documentation help and moral support.

Jul 30, 2022 07:22 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Seller should have done his homework before allowing a tradesperson to fix anything in his home. As experienced real estate professional, listing agent should have advised seller client to look closer at qualifications, or to recommend three different specialists based on personal experience.  After all, sometimes you "get what you paid for".  A good agent acts as a wise consultant to the client.

Jul 30, 2022 06:50 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Seek counsel from an attorney. Surprised the plumber would send an unlicensed person to do the repair and didn't come by to inspect the work.

Jul 30, 2022 05:34 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Are your plumbers not required to have liability insurance in Colorado?

Jul 29, 2022 08:36 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

The advice of Alan May is spot-on IMO.

Also, file a complaint with the contractor's licensing board in your state. This contractor should loose his license.

Aug 01, 2022 07:30 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Oh wow! What a mess. I would consult an attorney. I'm thinking the buyer's agent will cover this. I hate that for them. I once recommended a repair person I had used many times including in my own home. He sent in newly hired employees who didn't do repairs correctly. I think the contractor got busy and hired them out of desperation. I had to be at the house the entire time they were doing repairs and didn't know he was sending subs until they got there. It took hours for them to do simple punch list repairs. The things they had to repair were simple things and they were reading directions. I was furious about the amount of time they took from my day. The seller called me very upset because they did a terrible job. She called someone else to fix their work and refused to pay the original contractor. I don't blame here. I let the contractor know. He said he'd come make the repairs but the bill had to be paid or he'd put a mechanical lien against the house. She refused to let them come back.

Guess who paid the bill? I did. Guess who never got another job or referral from me? The contractor. Thankfully, the seller didn't hold it against me and has referred business to me since.

Having learned from me experience, I do things differently.

Going forward, I would check out the license and insurance first.

Jul 31, 2022 06:37 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Wow.  This requires a lot of thought.  Good to know about these things to avoid them in the future!  Buyer and seller need to agree to a monetary solution and put it in writing in order to close.

Jul 30, 2022 02:03 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Completely out of the box thought....can the sales price be increased to cover the damage caused?  After all, it was the buyer's side that wanted the particular contractor.

Reason #1 why none of us should ever use the word "MY" in front of anything.  We get associated with the result of their failures, and everyone has them in their careers.  

Jul 30, 2022 11:31 AM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

Sounds like this occurred after the close of escrow.  This would be something to be dealt with between the buyer and seller.  We as agents need to get legal advice to protect ourselves.  Consult your broker and an Attorney to make sure you don't get sued or end up in court.  The listing agent did what most of us do and that is presume things will be done correctly.  We need to back up our mistakes.

Jul 30, 2022 11:12 AM
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Hi Mimi...I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Rolled through Colorado Springs last week but did not have time to contact anyone. 

I am not sure what to do...glad it was not you...I read all the comments here too...some make sense...some never do!!   

Look forward to hearing the final resolution.  

Aug 03, 2022 07:23 AM