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Recently remodeled and hey look we covered up a fire are two different things!

You read the MLS and it says "REMODELED". It has an amazing price and you call your buyers who get excited and head over to meet you before anyone else has a chance to put an offer in. Now, things get exciting. The house looks amazing, so you put in an offer, it gets accepted and then you order the inspection.

photo courtesy of happidog

It turns out that remodel was only cosmetic! As the inspector is climbing in and around the kitchen, and the attic above the kitchen, he finds beams burnt through that weren't replaced, and cabinets that still have water damage from the fire department on them. It looks like this family took the insurance money and only covered the damage and kept the rest of the money!

No where does it mention in the disclosures that there has been a fire, heck there is no place to put something like that in the disclosures. But, calling a place remodeled because you tried to burn it down just doesn't cut it for my buyers and me. I think you will find yourself in court so they can get their money back for the inspection that you were wrong not have disclosed this upfront!

Please, if you know something about a house, it is better to disclose it up front than let the buyer find out later and have to take you to court for not disclosing it.

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!


Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 18 commentsRespect Realty LLC • October 25 2008 07:06AM


Todd I couldn't agree more I sold a home that had fire damage however, it was well disclosed and the builder did take the time to replace burnt beams.  Ironically the purchaser was a fireman so he was absolutely okay with the purchase and the disclosure.

Posted by No longer over 11 years ago

Todd I absolutely agree with you. The three most important words in real estate today are "disclose, disclose, disclose".

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 11 years ago

Wow I have never ran into that thankfully.  That definitely should have been in the disclosure!

Posted by Carol Swain, Realtor, Bucks County, Pa (Keller Williams Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Todd, I also agree with you.  Full disclosure will never get you into trouble.

Posted by Richard Riley, CDPE, I.R.E.S. (RE/MAX Properties SW) over 11 years ago

The reason that we have so many lawsuits and 30+ pages of contract are due to sellers like this.

Posted by Steve Hall, Make the Call to Hankins and Hall (RE/MAX United) over 11 years ago

The Sellers often keep things from me and when I question or find out about it they become defensive yet they wouldn't accept the same things if I were showing them something to buy.

Posted by Gayle Balaban, E. TN Waterfront Real Estate (The Best Spot Realty/Waterfront Real Estate/Ooltewah Real E) over 11 years ago

Oh yicks....there seem to be a number of things that are left to inspection that aren't asked directly on a condition report...and oh surprise, not volunteered by the sellers....gotta work toward revisions...what about the not so adroit inspector who will MISS those things ?

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 11 years ago

Todd - This is deplorable behavior, and it's a sad commentary on today's world, frankly.  I hope your client gets their money back for that inspection, which was essentially a waste of everyone's time.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 11 years ago

Todd, there is a insurance web site, can't remember the name where you can have your buyers go and check all the insurance claims filed on a house. If I remember what it is called I'll come back.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 11 years ago

Another reason why you always have inspections, until the inspector crawls around in the attic and basement what do you really know about the house? It looks nice and clean on the surface.

Posted by Mary Strang over 11 years ago

Todd, covering up a former fire is pretty tricky I must admit.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 11 years ago

Missy that would be a CLUE report.  When you call to get a quote on a new home you they have access to a database that will tell you if they home has any claims against it. 

Posted by Pat Fenn (Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker ) over 11 years ago


The term "remodeled" some times is a loaded canon waiting to go off.


Tom Braatz

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago

Todd - we ran into something similar, fire wasn't disclosed, and neither was the fact that there was an insurance claim (large sum). The small area that was damaged in the fire was totally redone and the home looked better than new. Yet, no disclosure, no buyers. ~Rita

Posted by Brian Burke, Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate (Kenna Real Estate) over 11 years ago

These sellers sound as skanky as it gets.  I recently sold a home that had a fire.  It was disclosed, inspections were done, everything went well.  Thankfully your clients had an inspection. 

Posted by Fran Gatti, Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity (RE/MAX Integrity) over 11 years ago

Todd, I always give buyers information on the CLUE report.  It is too bad some sellers try to be dishonest.

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) over 11 years ago

Todd, That is like running the odometer back on a used car. The disclosure form is made to take care of this type of deception. Make an example out of them Todd for wasting your time and the cost of the inspection...

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC) over 11 years ago

Todd, kinda takes the trust out of that agent's hands. I would have a hard time showing their listings again.

Posted by Linda Scanlan (A Consumer's View) over 11 years ago

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