buyer recourse for home defects discovered after closing
There are some business relationships you never want to end because they are so much fun, especially when everybody in the escrow is happy and excited, and then there are the oddballs . . . well, we won’t go there. Those are few and far between, though, because I’ve been a lot more selective of with whom I decide to work in Sacramento real estate, because there is only one of me to be pulled in a dozen different directions. I strive for no conflicts during escrow and prefer no conflicts after closing a Sacramento home.
I generally go out of my way to help my clients after the escrow has closed. Sometimes they want to know if I can recommend any tradespeople or vendors, and I’m happy to share personal recommendations along with the caveat that their experience might be different than my experience.
Sometimes they want to receive a copy of their closing papers that they’ve misplaced, and I will gladly provide those documents to them, either via email or snail mail, whichever is their preference. Or, they might just have a question about types of home improvement projects they might tackle and whether it would add resale value down the road. I love to talk about home improvement projects almost as much as I love selling Sacramento real estate.
But then there are the calls and emails from other real estate agents who have some kind of pressing dilemma, a conflict after closing. Often it’s the former buyer’s agents who received the initial call from their previous buyer. And the nature of this call tends to fall along the lines of there is some kind of defect or problem the new owner believes the seller withheld or failed to disclose. Naturally, the new home owner expects her buyer’s agent to pursue the situation with the listing agent, and they want the listing agent to involve the seller and resolve the issue.
Yet, that is not how it works, I’m sorry to report. After the escrow closes, the listing agent no longer has a fiduciary relationship to anybody in the transaction. She is not allowed to practice law without a law degree. A Sacramento REALTOR just can’t get into the middle of conflicts after closing because that is best left to the parties themselves to resolve. It’s not that the listing agent doesn’t care; it’s that she can’t offer legal guidance. After the escrow closes, her job is finished, and she’s no longer a hired gun.