You just purchased your first home.

Congratulations and welcome home!

And, your realtor was kind enough to act as your general contractor for the cosmetic repairs that you wanted, so that when you moved in there would be nothing to do other than sort your socks.

“Sorry, what was that? Oh, the shower floor pan is leaking into the bathroom, the window seals are broken in the nursery, the garage door won’t open and as it turns out the electrical wiring is not in compliance with local building codes?”

You contact your realtor/general contractor and find out that he had an inspection report all along that he did not share with you and that disclosed all the home deficiencies that you have mentioned. In addition, the report shows recent unrepaired foundation issues.

You don’t know why your lender did not require the inspection for closing, but you now have over $20,000 in known required repairs, and possibly more as the foundation work begins. This is in addition to the $12,000 you already paid your realtor/general contractor for the repairs that were made before you closed (not to mention the sales commissions paid at closing). You contact the seller’s realtor and discover that this was a “flip” house that she and the seller owned together. She also knew about the inspection report.

You are inconsolable. You immediately contact “Mad Dog Bob” known for the ability to “pull a rabbit out of the hat” in court. Mad Dog asks for an up-front retainer payment of $5,000 that will be adjusted to $15,000 if the case cannot be settled and you decide to file a law suit. What do you do?

You may consider utilizing the Collaborative Law process to resolve the issues among the seller and seller’s realtor, your realtor/general contractor and yourself.

“Attorneys Without Litigation” is a Collaborative Law network of independent lawyers formed to offer an alternative to expensive litigation through a private and confidential process.

In the case above, each party has an interest in resolving the issues in a way that is least disruptive to their continuing business and personal interests. Besides the expense of litigation, the parties may wish to keep all matters out of the light of public scrutiny. In the case of the realtors on both sides of the transaction, nasty and protracted public discussion of your grievances is not desirable nor in the best interests of their respective business reputations. You only want the problems resolved and are angry that you were not more diligent and did not require the inspection to be conducted before you closed on the house.

But, this was your first home purchase, and it was exciting, and your realtor/general contractor seemed so friendly. In fact, you thought that you were friends, and…

For more information, contact Stephen Rizzieri.

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