Email This Information To A Friend
Poly Issues for Real Estate Professionals

One of the biggest problems facing real estate professionals is what to do about homes with polybutylene. Some agents will not show a buyer a home with poly. If you're representing a buyer, you wouldn't want to sell your client a home with poly without them being made aware of the problems with poly.

Here are some facts you should note: (1) a broker was sued in Virginia for not disclosing the fact that a home had polybutylene plumbing, (2) a property management firm is being sued for non-disclosure in the condo resale certificates, and (3) an inspection company was sued for failing to disclose poly in a hotel property.

We've tried to outline some of the issues you are facing--or will be facing. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call us. We also offer FREE presentations to real estate professionals, either in your office or at association meetings. Please call us for more details on presentations in your area.

What's going on? The bottom line is...Courts continue to move away from "Buyer Beware" defenses. Different jurisdictions have different statutory requirements regarding disclosure, but the general atmosphere in the legal system is away from Caveat Emptor. Judges are looking at "what is the right thing to do."

Stay ahead of the pack on this problem. As homes with poly age, the rate of poly leaks will increase dramatically. This is a multi-billion dollar problem in homes throughout the United States. Here are some tips to consider...

1. Representing a Buyer:

A. Ask the Listing agent if the home has poly. If it does, ask if they are going to replace it with copper or reduce the price of the home so your Buyer can replace the poly before they move in.

B. Conduct a visual inspection for gray poly pipes. Look under the sinks, around the hot water heater and in exposed basements. If you see gray pipes, you have a poly problem. As for the underground main, please reference our web page "How Do I Get Rid Of Polybutylene".

C. If you're not sure if the home has poly, order a home inspection or call Plumbing Express - 800-501-7702.

D. If the home has poly, be sure to disclose this material fact, in writing, to your client. If you fail to disclose this problem, and they buy the home with poly, when it leaks, they will most likely want to know why you didn't warn them.

E. Disclosure Issues -
(1) Hundreds of Thousands of Poly Leaks,
(2) Potential for Catastrophic Damage from a Single Leak,
(3) Real Estate Professionals should have a waiver agreement for their Buyers to sign.

F. There are a lot of homes on the market with copper plumbing. Either sell them a home with copper or make sure the poly is replaced with copper.

G. Be sure to give every potential Buyer a Poly Information Kit. They are available FREE from Plumbing Express.

2. Representing a Seller:

A. Homes with copper sell faster and with less headaches!

B. Sellers and sellers' agents may be at risk for selling homes with poly pipes when the pipes leak. We have seen homes with more than $100,000 in damages from a single leak.

C. Provide your Seller with a Poly Information Kit. Explain the issues, and let them know that an average replumbing takes about a week. Most important, they will now be able to feature a home with copper and a 40 year warranty. That's a powerful selling point.

D. If the Seller wants to ignore the poly issue, ask them to sign a Release Agreement, indemnifying you of all potential liability.

3. The Solution:

A. Not sure a home has poly? Check for a gray plastic pipe under sinks or in exposed areas in the basement or attic. If you're still not sure, call us.

B. The cost of a replumb is about the same as a recarpet.

C. An average job takes less than a week. And your client can remain in the home with water service restored each evening after the technicians finish the day's work.

"I never dreamed you could do it all in 5 days while we lived in the house too. The work is amazing. Our home looks better than when you started. Your crew was truly the best we have ever seen."
----The Briardis - Springfield, VA

D. Replacing poly with copper is a must. But you also must be careful who does the job. We offer a turnkey service that leaves the home better than when we started. PLUS we provide a 40 Year Warranty!

E. We offer financing and can arrange to accept payment at the time of closing.

F. IMPORTANT: If you rely on a Home Inspector's report that states the poly looks "okay", ask him if he will indemnify you if the poly pipes leak. And make sure he gives you a written indemnification.

4. In General:

A. Poly leaks have devastated some homes. For example, one homeowner was away on vacation when a single pipe burst in their home. The home was destroyed. There was more than $138,000 in damage to the home. And the homeowners lost many family heirlooms and treasures.

B. Courts are moving toward eliminating the false sense of security sellers and seller's agents have relied on with "AS IS"clauses. Raynor v. Wise Realty Co., 504 So. 2d at 1364. Also see Johnson v. Davis, 480 So. 2d at 628

C. Polybutylene was installed in more than six million homes during the 80's and early 90's.

D. Pipes leaked in thousands of homes across the United States. Lawsuits were filed. Many of these suits were grouped into a Class Action.

E. In 1995, two manufactures of the raw material used to make polysettled a case and agreed to a $950 million settlement. As the Judge noted...this is a minimum amount. When this money is used up, the defendants can put in more money or the case will become active again. A third manufacturer settled the case by establishing a fund that may provide a 10% reimbursement for property owners with acetal insert fittings, and a leak is not required.

Service Areas

Pictures & Testimonials | What is Poly | Get Rid of Poly | Warranty
FAQs | FREE Info Kit | Selling A Home | Myths
Commercial Complexes | Service Areas | Plumbing/Drain Services | Email | Home

© 2003 Plumbing Express - All Rights Reserved.