• 1.  another plate crack

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 07-04-2022 12:03
      |   view attached
    Just wondering, how bad does this look at first glance? Even if it poses no structural issue, does it affect the value X percent?
    Is a seller obligated to disclose?

    Scott Cole, RPT
    Talent, OR

  • 2.  RE: another plate crack

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 07-05-2022 01:47
    This might just be a crack in the priming and paint.

    While I might be cautious in my recommendations I wouldn't condem the piano for it.

    I have customers with small plate cracks like this (if it is a plate crack) that have been stable for more than 30 years with no problems.

    Blaine Hebert RPT
    Duarte CA
    (626) 795-5170

  • 3.  RE: another plate crack

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 07-07-2022 16:12
    I think the first item on my list of responsibilities is our obligation to notify the client, in this case the seller, that there is an observed flaw in the plate, whether it is structural or simply cosmetic.  They are all suspect until proven otherwise.

    I am remembering (if you will indulge me on this one--it's worth the read) a situation many years ago with an appraisal I did on a square piano in the PNW.  It was covered with hay, sitting on its back with the keyboard up and legs not installed.  I asked the question of the piano's whereabouts prior to this and the owner said it has been in her son's house for many years.  Hmmmm, house, hay, just not adding up yet.  Lots of rust, keytops falling off, and what's this in the strings???  It was a detached chicken leg, claw and all!!!!  In the house huh???  I put a value on the piano of $100.  Received a call from a very excited person two days later about this wonderful old piano she had found and the lady wanted $1000 for it.  Same piano.  She had put down $500 on it and THEN made the call.  I suggested she get her money back and it was then that she threatened the law suit etc.  From this scenario I learned to write out (I had already done so thankfully) the $$ amount as if it was a check.  $100, One Hundred Dollars.  Sellers obligation???  It was the sellers property, the appraisal to do with as she pleased and obviously had not shown it to the buyer.  The way we protect ourselves is by our precision in such matters.

    We could also discuss the Steinway concert grand I found with a #1 added to the five digit serial number.  Another story for another day but felt I did my due diligence.

    I am also with Blaine on this that it could be simply cosmetic in nature​ but full disclosure is necessary.  One could pull the #1 pin on note 21 and see if the crack goes to the pin block.  that would confirm whether it's a crack or not.

    Also remembering a Steinway B many years ago with a crack in the web area in the middle of the tenor section of tuning pins.  That piano appeared on my radar many years later and still in service and quite stable.  There was full disclosure on that one and confirmed by the owner with full knowledge of the situation.

    In conclusion, is it the seller's obligation to disclose?  You bet!!  Whether or not they do is out of our control but we can be precise in our assessments to make sure that the information we dispense is accurate, to the point and as truthful as we can be.  If a buyer has questions there is a basis for starting the conversation.

    Mike R​

    Michael Reiter RPT
    Eugene OR
    (541) 515-6499