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Muddy Waters

The buyer was babbling about the color of the bathtub’s water. He insisted that it was cloudy, despite being contradicted by both the seller and the real estate agent.

He glared at me after I stated that the water’s hue was not a seller’s responsibility and accused me of not caring about the quality of the water in which his kids’ bottoms bathed.

I ignored that irrelevant remark and asked his attorney what his client actually wanted. The attorney started talking about holding money back in escrow, but then his client stated, “I want a plumber to come look at the water and tell me what to do.”

The seller and I jumped at that. I asked counsel to draft an “Undertaking” (action plan, no money required) for the situation. He did, and it said, “[Seller] will bring a plumber to [address] and take any necessary action to ensure bathtub water runs clear.”

My client and I were OK with that, and he signed it. He did as required (and the water was indeed clear), but what if he hadn’t? There was no time frame and no consequences if he didn’t. If the buyer wanted to ensure bad water didn’t bite his kids’ asses, he might have been left high and dry by his failure to attach fangs to the pledge.

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