My clients went to do a pre-closing “walk-through” of the house they were about to purchase. They spotted a metal pie pan under the 40+ year old oil tank in the basement, which had an accumulation of pooled oil.
At the closing, my clients brought this situation up, and the still-living-in-the-house sellers claimed to be surprised by the existence of the pie tin (and ignorant of any leak). “You didn’t put the tin under the tank?” I inquired.
“No, we don’t know how it got there,” said the husband, as the wife shrugged.
I looked at their attorney and remarked as evenly as I could, “We certainly can’t bank on it inexplicably disappearing in the same way it strangely appeared. We’ll have to hold escrow until the leak is repaired.”
The sellers acquiesced without another word. Probably my disbelief, coupled with the unsettling notion that someone had broken into their home —violated their very sanctuary— and committed the unthinkable act of slipping a pie plate under their aged oil tank, was just too much for this innocent couple to absorb.