My son needs advice..can you help? - Posted by Barbara (ME)

Posted by Barbara Adams (ME) on November 12, 2000 at 11:10:12:

Yes they have a disclosure form made out by the realtor and all that is listed is the type of heating system and the age is “not known”.No other comments.
Thanks to you and Tom for the replies.
Barbara (ME)

My son needs advice…can you help? - Posted by Barbara (ME)

Posted by Barbara (ME) on November 12, 2000 at 10:14:34:

My neighbor and his girlfriend recently bought their first house which had been vacant for quite a while.
The listing from the real estate agent said “baseboard oil heat” as well as a woodstove.
However, when they called the oil dealer the fellow who delivered oil (the tank was empty) said the burner would not start (it sparked) and was badly rusted out. The next day the owner of the company looked at it and said it might be conceivable to clean it and get it started but it is in such bad shape (full of mud, moisture and badly rusted and the collar didn’t fit)that if it stopped again after the cleaning that “that would be the last call they would make” and the dealer would have to condemn it.
So my neighbor said not to clean or fix it, and he immediately called his buyer agent who said he would contact the listing agent.My neighbor has not moved in yet.I think the owner was aware of the problem as my neighbor found out the woodstove was installed in 1999.
Something has to be resolved quickly as it is getting cold.
This happened Friday and he hasn’t heard back from anyone on this yet, and wonders what his recourse is.Although another thing was listed as to possible problem on the listing agreement, nothing was said about the burner as to a problem. I would love to hear any of your comments as obviously they are very upset and in no financial condition to buy a new burner at this point.I really didn’t know what to tell them as to thir options.
Thanks in advance.
Barbara (ME)

Re: My son needs advice…can you help? - Posted by dewCO

Posted by dewCO on November 13, 2000 at 22:59:56:

Sorry, too much to read here already, so I’ll just post my .02. As an agent, I would say, if your son had a buyer’s agent and they didn’t suggest to get the furnace inspected, or at least to check and see if it worked, then there could be some liability there on the part of the buyer’s agent. A letter from an attorney could help induce the seller/ agents to chip in for the new furnace.

He can also talk to neighbors and see if the seller knew that the furnace didn’t work. Also, don’t know if furnaces rust out without use, so I would check that with a furnace company and see. I think it would be almost impossible for the seller not to know.

Re: My son needs advice…can you help? - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by JohnBoy on November 13, 2000 at 01:08:37:

Here’s a great site to a company that sells furnances at steep discounted prices. If they end up having to buy one themselves then they might want to check this place out for a great buy. If they know anyone that could help them out with the installation then this would be a good way to go. Check out the site and see what all they have to offer at:

Thank you for all taking the time to reply - Posted by Barbara(ME)

Posted by Barbara(ME) on November 12, 2000 at 21:55:12:

I will see my neighbor gets all of your comments. Thanks again.
Barbara (ME)

Re: A few more ideas - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on November 12, 2000 at 19:22:15:

come to mind here. some may be of use, some may not.

There may be some local funds, such as community developement block grant monies available for low interest loans to fix heating systems or to weatherize houses.

Check with your local community action center, or it’s equivalent. Your local library can probably point you in the right direction.

If the income of the purchaser falls within certain guidelines (150% of the national average possibly) they may be able to get help from the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). HEAP funds are Federal funds, administered by the states, and distruted locally. They have an emergency program that will even bring out a truckload of firewood, or help pay for some other type of heat.

There may also be a lawyer available that could advise on the transaction (might be free, or a very low fee depending on income). Ask community action about this.

If he is stuck living with the woodburner, this is not the end of the world. Consider living in one room only until spring. The room with the woodburner. Take care to see that the pipes do not freeze, and close everything else off. Get some heavy drapes for all the windows (I’m talking about army blankete here),buy some long underware and perhaps a sleeping bag or two, and then get on with it.

There will be many lessons to learn here, so consider it to be an educational opportunity.

Re: BUY FIREWOOD - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on November 12, 2000 at 14:57:37:

That is the best suggestion that I can make for a quick resolution to this problem.

It is obvious that the buyer is strapped for funds, I mean could not even afford a marriage license (Duh), I guess that legal advice is out of the question. So he/she will have to settle for advice from your son. That would be “He said, that She said that They said”… To be sure the will get what they pay for.

The realtors information sheet is exactly that, an information sheet. It usually contains language such as “Information contained herein is belived to be accurate, but not warranted” (or something similar).

There is no way that the realtor could be expected to know if the seller told the truth or not. If an inspection was desired it should have been done before the contract was finalized, and this inspection cost would have been paid for by whichever party had agreed to pay for it. Since the contract is now agreed to I doubt that there is any recourse.

Re: My son needs advice…can you help? - Posted by B.L.Renfrow

Posted by B.L.Renfrow on November 12, 2000 at 11:15:03:

I agree with the others. Don’t know about Maine, but here in NY there is no disclosure requirement. It would be pretty tough also to prove that the sellers knew of the defect, especially if the house has been empty for some time.

I’d say your neighbor has learned an expensive lesson about the value of a professional inspection for the average homebuyer. They may well have little choice but to find a way to replace the boiler.

Nevertheless, if satisfactory response from the agent(s) is not forthcoming, it might be worthwhile to recommend they obtain advice from a competent attorney regarding their options. Sometimes, a letter from a lawyer can go a long way in resolving differences.

Brian (NY)

Re: My son needs advice…can you help? - Posted by Tom

Posted by Tom on November 12, 2000 at 10:39:44:

Rule #1 in buying homes to live in: HAVE THEM INSPECTED by a reliable inspector or contractor.

Now since it’s to late for that, have them look at the paper work again, most states (don’t know about yours) require disclosure. Ever if your state does not, this may be serious enough to hold the seller, the sellers agent, and maybe even the buyers agent responsible. The important thing is to get someone on it, if they can’t get hold of the agent, call the broker, if they can’t get the broker, call the state board, call an attorney. They have to be proactive, don’t just set and wait, get mad, take control.

Re: My son needs advice…can you help? - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on November 12, 2000 at 10:37:36:

Was there an inspection clause in the original contract? An inspection should have been conducted and the furnace should have been fired up. My guess is that neither of these occured.

The realtors have a disclosure form and the condition of the furnace should have been noted on the form. In my state, Vermont, the disclosure form is necessary and is signed by the seller at the time the property is listed. What did it say concerning the furnace. Were you given this disclosure form?

What are your realtor’s telling you at this point. I would keep on them.

Re: My son needs advice…can you help? - Posted by Barbara (ME)

Posted by Barbara (ME) on November 12, 2000 at 10:17:18:

Not to confuse you, my son is my neighbor’s best friend and was asked for advice and then asked me.:slight_smile:
Barbara (ME)