A Calgary family is demanding answers and compensation after they claim their family home was damaged during a showing.
Linda LaChance, along with her brother Randy van Rijn, were in charge of selling their mom’s home after she passed away last year.
But they were shocked when they arrived at the home a day after a showing.
“We were dumbfounded,” LaChance said.
LaChance said the parging — a coating added to the house exterior below the siding to protect it — was cracked around the home.
“The damage was there after their inspection,” LaChance said. “And this is what we’re left with.”
The family said it isn’t sure exactly who caused the damage but added right before it was discovered, there were only three people at the home for showing: the realtor, his client and the inspection company.
Terra Snyder of Accurate Home Inspections was the inspector who was there that day in early April. She told Global News the home clearly had efflorescence damage — a powdery substance that forms on concrete due to moisture.
She also saw a bit of cracked parging, but insisted she didn’t cause it.
“We have no vested interest in the property,” Snyder added. “It doesn’t matter to us if the deal goes or doesn’t go. And we would never cause damage purposely to a property.”
But LaChance and van Rijn are adamant efflorescence didn’t cause the damage.
“There would be a lot of pressure that would have been hammering this stuff off to get down to the rebar,” LaChance added.
“It’s not just going to fall off by itself because water is getting up underneath it.”
The family also complained to the prospective buyer’s realtor. In an email correspondence, the realtor said his client did not intend to pay for any repairs.
He would not comment to Global News, but when we contacted the Re/Max brokerage, manager Dave Nicholson told us: “We as professionals, followed our due diligence and caused no damage to the property.”
LaChance is livid she was forced to pay more than $800 to fix the damages.
“What kind of a protection does a seller have when this stuff happens? You’re left having to hang to dry because nobody will pay for it.”
The governing body for real estate agents in Alberta said sellers do have protection.
“They have the right to their property being in the same condition as when they left it,” Real Estate Council Alberta’s Bryan Douey said.
RECA said there are stringent standards agents have to meet. Officials also said they take complaints like these very seriously.
“If it comes to light that one of our professionals is not meeting those standards we definitely want to know about it,” Douey said. “If it’s determined there was conduct deserving of sanctions we will sanction that person.”
The home did eventually sell weeks later and to a different buyer.
The family said the purchase price was thousands of dollars less than they were asking — and they partly blamed the damage.
“We lost $6,000 on the deal partly because of that,” LaChance said.
The family has now filed a complaint to RECA in the hopes someone will take responsibility for the damage.
“It’s not really even about the money. It’s about the principle,” van Rijn said.