|Anyone know anything about estate sales of real estate?
||[Dec. 24th, 2009|12:55 pm]
I'm going to pester my agent about this if I have to, but I'm hoping maybe someone knows enough to explain this to me.|
I'm trying to buy a house from an estate. My understanding is that they can refuse to give me a Form 17 (that's the form in whatever jurisdiction I'm in), which is a declaration of information about the house that might affect my buying decision. Here's where they have to 'fess up if they know that it has mold problems or dry rot or whatever.
It's an estate sale. Generally, an estate sale is when the occupant is deceased. No living person has information about the house. So, generally, no Form 17 is issued. I'm cool with that. I'm perfectly, 100% okay with no form 17, based upon their inability to provide it.
But that's not what they're doing.
They're asking me to waive form 17, and to waive my recourse if they are negligent, or omit anything, etc..
And that just bugs me, because it feels like they're saying "we have information, and we're asking you to accept that we won't give it to you."
I'd be 100% okay with "we won't give you form 17, because we don't have to." I'm 100% *not-okay* with "please tell us you voluntarily waive your rights to receive it."
And I don't know if I'm being silly. Maybe this is how estate sales are done. Has anyone out there been in an estate sale? Do they typically ask you to waive these kinds of disclosures?
Estate sales these days aren't generally when the occupant is deceased, but when they, uh, change estate. Such as moving to a nursing home, or sometimes even a retirement home. it's unlikely that no one knows anything about the house.
I don't think you're being silly; I wouldn't bid on a house under these conditions. I think that waiving your rights is ridiculous under these circumstances.
Probate and estate stuff varies from state to state. A lot.
When we sold Mom's house, we had to get an independent appraisal for the value, with an inspection and all. You know, the termites in the basement, the squirrels in the attic, all that good stuff. As far as I know, the executor had to make that available to the buyer. But that's Georgia . . .
Don't worry about being silly. Check with your agent. A good agent will explain the whole thing to you, as they want to make sure you keep going through them for a sale - commission work sucks. Unless you are in a bind that means you don't have the time, be ready and willing to play the "No, thanks" card on the purchase. There are all kinds of tricks a shady seller can pull to try and offload a crap house. This is definitely a situation where it's better to ask and not need.. Good luck.
If it were me, I'd make the offer contingent upon inspection, and add enough dough to the sales price to offset the cost of a general inspection and then specific inspections about anything of particular concern. In this market, "contingent upon inspection" is standard anyway, and I personally would never buy a house more than ten years old without inspecting it.
When I bought my house (Texas), the offer was "contingent upon inspection" and I paid for the inspection ($200 five years ago)
John, IANAL, but I agree with you that something feels a bit fishy here. With their request for waiving your rights, if this was me, I would REQUIRE a third party inspection. Just my $.02