clause in real estate sale contract

I am looking for some help here.

It has been brought to my attention that a clause in the NEFAR (Northeast Florida ***. Realtors) is being used to steal good faith deposits from our clients.

See clause below:

MAINTENANCE, INSPECTION AND REPAIR: SELLER will maintain the Property in its present condition
304 until closing, except for normal wear and tear and any agreed upon repairs/replacements/treatments,
305 BUYER and SELLER agree that the cost of inspections and investigations requested by BUYER are
306 exempt from paragraph 11 of this Agreement and will be paid by BUYER regardless of the outcome of this
307 Agreement. If BUYER elects not to have inspections and investigations performed, or fails to make a timely
308 request for repairs/replacements/treatments as set forth in this paragraph 14, BUYER accepts the Property
309 in its “AS IS” condition as of the date of acceptance of this Agreement. BUYER will be responsible for
310 repair of all damages to the Property resulting from inspections and investigations, and BUYER will return
311 the Property to its pre-inspection condition. These obligations shall survive termination of this agreement.

Apparently, the sellers are claiming that the inspector damaged rotted wood trim when probing and discovering the damaged/rotted wood trim. The sellers and their agents are using the above clause to steal the client’s deposit if they walk on the deal. One or our members just had this happen to him. His client is now pissed at him for them loosing their $1000 deposit after they walked on the deal due to the issues discovered by the inspector. This is a disturbing trend if allowed to stand as it will effectively prohibit us from touching any suspect wood for fear of damaging the paint finish where the wood is rotten or missing beneath the paint.

Do other Realtor Association’s contracts in Florida have this or similar language. Has anyone else had this happen to them?

What are your thoughts on this issue- and what can we do to put a stop to this?

The wood is already damaged. If I were the client, I would be going after the Managing Broker as well as the agent. That’s what they have an Ethics Committee and hearings for. Total BS.

I have been trying to tell people this for years…So, be careful with the “failed under testing” nonsense. You broke it, your client is going to have to pay for it.

Whether the wood was rotted or not, it didn’t look the same after the inspector left. Someone is going to pay…

The wood is already damaged. If I were the client, I would be going after the Managing Broker as well as the agent. That’s what they have an Ethics Committee and hearings for. Total BS.

If it was damaged, what purpose is there in probing it?

From clause in real estate sale contract - InterNACHI Inspection Forum

New paint and putty can hide a number of seller attempts to hide known defects.

New paint and putty can hide a number of seller attempts to hide known defects.

Sneaky. Haven’t heard it used here. The issue potentially opens up our GL. If this clause is going to be used, then we need to have a clause in this contract that we be made aware of its existence, otherwise I’m gonna start asking for a copy of the contract to look for it myself. Too many times touched a bathroom tub tile that looks loose and it falls off the wall, touched a piece of door trim and it’s riddled with termite damage and just crumbles cause its just a layer of paint. This is just more ‘pass the buck’ mentality of this country of zero personal accountability. Hey my house is a dump but if any of the existing damage gets exposed, you’re gonna have to fix it. WTH, yet another reason for my love/hate affair with this profession.

RE broker here of 10 years and been around more transactions than I can remember…sellers are bluffing/ full of it, challenged it won’t stand…if it was me, I would say see you in court :smiley: and mean it :twisted:

The CLAUSE is common…

The THEFT OF FUNDS is not…

Find a good attorney and go after their licenses and bank accounts!

I had it happen to me with a shower stall. I used to tap the bottom tiles with my foot. One tile caved in on the shower. The seller was really mad even through the house was a POS. I finally had to fix the tile even though the report stated that the bath was a complete tear out and remodel.

It is in the contract.If the buyer and seller signed it, it is binding. Someone is going to pay. If it ever got to court, the Judge would see the contract, and that would be it.

It happened to a client of mine when a window broke during testing. All over 100 bucks. I ended up giving him a free wind mitigation inspection and all was fine.

My realtor friend advised me today it is in almost all real estate contracts and it is offered as a protectionism for the seller and I can see why. Assume you have a home inspector, wdo, etc enter the house, fall through the attic and they let their GL lapse and can’t or won’t pay for the damage, then what does the seller do. The cases where sellers hijack this money for supposed damage does happen in rare cases but its not usually a good idea to do so and doesn’t end very well for that party.

That is exactly why they should be taken to task in court. The courts will view the clause for it’s **Intent **not the misapplication in which it was abused!

There have been several instances, where the “as-is” contract has backfired, and the buyer walks. Because of the provision cited, if there is damage caused by an inspector, the deposit is held until those repairs are made.

The latest trend, is to have the inspection done prior to putting down the deposit. I just did one and the lady had concerns about the property, which were confirmed by the inspection, but, she didn’t give the deposit check to the title company, so, the seller had no leverage.

Now that makes sense. WAY to many buyers just go along with whatever bulldookie the Realtor tells them to do. They do not realize they are the ones who should call the shots.

Not for me to say because I am no longer a member, but other people do read this board. It would be nice if we kept the language clean.

Along with that… the bull-shi-t price wars… that don’t seem to exist until your client places their offer!!! I just got message from a client (3 inspects in last two months) that she had to walk AGAIN due to this BS! Some of those homes sat for over a year without a nibble… and NOW there are multiple offers? BS!


Thanks for the chuckle Bill!! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Dookie :smiley:

At times I have probed damaged fascia, siding, door frames, etc. to determine if there are termites or just wood decay.

As far as I’m concerned, I do not have a magic wand to wave across the wood to create the damage.

The state has wording under the wood destroying organism statute that allows for further probing to ascertain if it’s termites, if you see/suspect damage, but cannot be certain without further probing. :slight_smile:
You have to be the licensed termite inspector for this. I don’t think it would pass on to home inspectors.

I understand that will not stop someone to accuse me of causing the damage though.