Home Disclosures February 7, 2022

Gas Odor in the House

An agent friend with another brokerage called me to ask my opinion regarding a gas odor in the house.

She said, “Ernest, an agent who was showing my listing smelled gas and called the fire department!! My Oakland listing is in contract. The buyers, who have removed ALL contingencies, are also saying there is a gas smell. I didn’t smell gas. What should I do?”

I told her:

  1. Get the report from the Fire Department. You said they inspected everything and didn’t find anything wrong with the gas appliances, right? Get the fire inspection report stating there was no gas odor.
  2. You have a home inspection, yes? The inspector did not report a gas odor, correct? Ask the home inspector to go back and check out the smell and to particularly check the gas furnace, which is what the seller suspects.
  3. Ask one or two of your office colleagues to go with you and see if they can detect the gas smell. If they smell something try to find the source. If there is no smell, great. Document it.

It is important to show that you’ve made an effort to determine the source of the gas leak…if any.

Finally, ask the buyer what is it that they want? Do they want consideration in terms of money or repairs? Cancel the purchase? What? Remind them that they have removed all contingencies, but that you are willing to work with them. If you got a great offer, be generous and offer some money back. Above all, keep the deal alive.