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I have a client who has a load bearing beam from her basement being exposed from the outside, I have advised her to seek a professional engineer to have a look, she had someone who used to do home construction come over and he said its not an issue as the beam is secure and nothing is shifted, but as a professional real estate agent I'm just not sure... This contractor has also been retired for 20 years and advised my client to seek a new agent, she's a senior and I don't want her getting sued if this is a problem, and also because he's not a active construction worker I don't classify that as having a professional over. I'm not looking for a diagnosis of the problem I just don't know if im over reacting about it. The beam on the inside looks totally fine nothing is shifted at all. picture of the beam protruding out the concrete on the side of the house is attached, should it of been capped during construction?

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    If it's not a problem now it will become one as it rots from being exposed to the weather. I'd first be asking why there's a big hole in the concrete & why repairing it doesn't seem to be the main concern.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 18, 2023 at 14:23
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    Can you post a wider shot? There's a lot of mystery in this picture and your description of it. Why has concrete apparently been poured directly over and around a beam? Why is that concrete crumbling? Why are zero of three people (you, your client, her expert) seeing the forest? Why, if the exterior wall has a gaping hole, are we worried about what's inside?
    – jay613
    Apr 18, 2023 at 14:53
  • For some reason my images are not uploading the wide shot says the imagine is too big to attach, but the concrete is only crumbling where the beam is being exposed if that helps?
    – Melissa
    Apr 18, 2023 at 17:23
  • shes a senior and just doesn't care, and doesn't want to deal with it
    – Melissa
    Apr 18, 2023 at 17:24
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    Melissa here is my assessment. What you have there is not a DIY problem, at least not one that this forum can help you with. It's just a business problem that you're probably familiar with. If there IS a serious problem there, someone will have to fix it. Since your client probably doesn't want to, just factor it into the sale, and your client base will be limited to those with the appetite. If there is nothing really bad there, your client MUST fix it because otherwise a lot of people will be scared away including possibly your best buyer. Step 1 HAS to be a professional evaluation.
    – jay613
    Apr 18, 2023 at 19:15

3 Answers 3

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If wood is/gets damp/wet it can rot in time, it might take many years or a few depending on the wood and weather. Something most people do not want happening with a support beam.

That opening will also be an easy access to wood eating insects or beavers.

I would at least have that opening sealed over properly.

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  • Thank you, she advised she will get it re sealed, but I believe she thinks I'm trying to take advantage of her. When im only trying to help.
    – Melissa
    Apr 18, 2023 at 14:30
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    As a Canadian, I give you +1 for beavers :)
    – Olivier
    Apr 18, 2023 at 19:08
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I'm not looking for a diagnosis of the problem I just don't know if im over reacting about it.

Well, yes and no. It looks like a serious problem but is it really your problem? As long as you disclose what is known about it to potential buyers (ie. there's a gaping hole), I really don't see an issue. Just make sure you fulfill your legal and ethical obligations. You should know these better than we do, it's your job. Be clear that this hasn't been evaluated by a qualified professional. For all you know, the other guy might have been a roofing contractor.

Someone might well want to buy the house to tear it down, in which case a more informed opinion would be a complete waste of time and money. Your client might loose potential buyers over this, but that's also her decision.

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You are risking the loss of your client. If you have expressed your concerns you need only suggest that she gets an engineers report on the house - this could well be a house with other issues. This is better for everyone concerned than learning of problems revealed by a prospective buyers engineer.

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  • You mean risking as in the sale of her home? I've suggested getting an engineer in to have a look, she doesn't seem to want to do it, I've gone as far as getting the appt set up for her and she wont do it. she had an old friend who was a contractor tell her to just seal it and fire me since im only trying to make sure she doesnt get sued if this is an issue
    – Melissa
    Apr 18, 2023 at 16:37
  • If the condition is noted on the seller's disclosure form, there should be no legal liability.
    – kreemoweet
    Apr 18, 2023 at 21:12

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