Does the seller of a single family home have to contract out items noted on the inspect that are included as a term of the sale?

My wife and I are currently buying a home and the seller agreed to address several items that were brought to our attention during the inspection (i.e. replacing windows). We know from discussions with the owner that he is very handy and we are afraid he might preform the work on his own. We feel this could put us at risk beyond the normal risk that should be associated with buying a house. A friend told us that by law in Texas they must contract out all work and provide copies of the receipts. By law do they have to contract out the work? Can we sue prior homeowner is something goes wron

Asked on July 3, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The best way to protect yourself is contractually; draw up an agreement that states that the following items must be corrected by licensed contractor and require whatever level of proof of both the contractor's skill (e.g. license number) and that the repair is done (such as receipts) that you feel comfortable with. Also provide in writing that the issues are not waived until re-inspected by your inspector and signed off on. If the seller won't agree to this, then you need to ask yourself whether you would trust him to get the work done properly in any event...and if the answer is no, ask yourself whether you'd be comfortable buying if it wasn't.

Alternately, figure out yourselves what the repairs will cost (you may need contractor estimates) and get a reduction in the price so you can afford to do it yourself. That way, you don't need to rely in anyway on the seller; you just have the cash in hand and to it yourself, on your own timing, to your own satisfaction.


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