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Warning: The Benefits of a "Regular Sale" in the Current Northern Virginia Real Estate Market May Be Absent
There is no doubt that the economy has had it's effect, in some way, shape or form, on just about everyone you know. In the Northern Virginia real estate market, the effect is obvious when you hear of a Short Sale or Foreclosure hitting the market. I'm here to tell you that even the "regular sales," the home owners with equity, have been hit by the economy. And what that means to a Buyer may not be readily apparent.
Right now I'm representing first-time Buyers who found the home of their dreams in Manassas Park. And it was a blessing to hear that it was a regular sale. Despite the disclosures by the Listing Agent that the toilet and sink in the second level hall bath were leaking and/or non-functional, the listing made no mention about the home being sold as-is.
When a home in Northern Virginia is sold as-is, it means just that. The paragraph in the sales contract that calls for all systems (heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical and appliances) to be in normal working order, is deleted. You get what you get.
Well, my Buyers wrote an offer without an as-is clause, offered more than they had wanted to, and asked for less than they wanted to in closing help because we were told the Seller was "cutting it close." The home inspection revealed about ten walk through items that would be required repairs by the home owner to fix. In the meantime, a title search revealed HOA lien upon HOA lien. My gut told me that the items that were required to be fixed might get done, but the negotiable items (of which there were about five) would not.
What my Buyers and I were NOT prepared for was for the Seller to send back an addendum that stated the home was being sold as-is and offer them $250 for that change up at this stage of the game. So much for buying a "regular sale."
My honest opinion is that if your home is being marketed as a "regular sale," there are certain expectations Buyers have. Required repairs to the systems and appliances in the home that are in-operational being one of them. If that's not part of your "regular sale," disclose that fact up front and ask for an as-is clause as part of the offer. Counter an offer with one. Don't wait until AFTER the home inspection items have been given to you to sucker punch the Buyer with a switch to as-is.
Being up front is the best approach in real estate. It's about setting expectations. You're not really a "regular sale" if you're being sold as-is, the same as the Short Sale or Foreclosure down the street.
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker- Licensed in Virginia, GRI, SFR, Northern Virginia Short Sale Specialist. Affiliated with Long & Foster, 7526 Limestone Drive, Gainesville, VA 20155. To contact Chris Ann, call 703-402-0037 or email chrisann@LNF.com. Or you can visit her website: www.nvarealestate.net.
Header photos taken by Chris Ann Cleland.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not those of Long & Foster REALTORS®.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.