My question involves real estate located in the State of: North Carolina
Purchased a home and closing was May 20, 2013. Did a walk through with my agent on the morning of closing. We discovered a significant amount of water damage to the wood laminate floor in the kitchen. This was in front of the dishwasher and around to the end of the island. Home was inspected two weeks before closing and the floor was not in this condition. I was very upset as this was such a surprise to walk in and find. I should have been notified of the damage. My agent immediately contacted seller's agent and was informed that there was a dishwasher leak but the seller had already ordered replacement laminate and arranged for a repair person to install. We went on to closing.
After I started my part of the closing process, the seller and her agent arrived. She gave me a check made out to the repair person for installation along with his contact information. She also gave me a copy of the order for laminate flooring. (Note - the flooring was ordered 10 days before closing which means there was plenty of time to contact us about the damage.) She went on to tell me that they had to special order the floor because Home Depot no longer carried it in stock but it should be arrive in a couple of days. She would pick up at the store and deliver it to me. I was satisfied and continued with the closing.
The floor arrived and I contacted the repair person. This is when the bomb was dropped. He asked me if I knew the floor was not a match and did I really want the floor installed. I was never told that the floor was not a match but the seller was aware. The color of the replacement floor is a little darker than the existing floor but the biggest difference is in the # of wood strips in one plank. The existing floor has four skinny "wood strips" while the replacement floor has three wider "wood strips". If this is installed not only will the pattern of the floor be off but the color will be different as well. I was furious that this was not disclosed by the seller.
Immediately contacted my agent, who in turned contacted the seller's agent. She explained first that Home Depot must have ordered the wrong laminate. When my agent asked her how the repair person knew the floor would not match, the story changed to the seller found the closest match that she could.
I have three options
* Have the floor installed that will not match and live with it - which is NOT an option in my opinion since this is not the condition when I put the contract on the house
* Replace the floor at my expense - The kitchen and living area are all open and the same flooring is in the living area as well.
* Take the seller to Small Claims Court since the amount is less than $5000 but not sure I have a strong case. I, of course, think I do.
Just not sure what to do or if I even have a case. I have tried to contact the closing attorney this week but it's the end of the month and I was told they were busy.
Seller refuses to do anything other than what she offered at closing.
So frustrated. Any thoughts or input would be appreciated.