Don't You Just Hate Mucky Water??????

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with RE/MAX Executive Realty 104763

I read a post this morning written by Charita Cadenhead, and I want to respond to her thoughts regarding sellers having a home inspection prior to listing a property.  Lorraine Kuney and I are listing agents, and we focus on representing the seller.  I can fully understand why a buyers' agent would appreciate seeing a home inspection report on a property of interest. 

However, that does not mean that the buyer will not have their own home inspection, nor does it mean that the sellers' home inspector did a fair job of inspecting!!!  There are many issues that arise when a seller has a home inspection on their home.

If there is an inspection performed, full disclosure now comes into play.  If the inspection results show that a roof needs replacement, will the seller hide that fact??  Will the seller replace the roof prior to listing??  Will the listing agent disclose this information in the listing??

The water starts getting mucky when the seller has a home inspection prior to listing.  What if the buyers' home inspector finds a problem that was not found by the sellers' home inspector??  That certainly leaves a question of honesty on the table!!!! 

If a buyer really falls in love with a property, many issues are willingly accepted by that buyer, especially if the buyer is capable of doing the repairs himself.  We never know who the buyer will be on a property and what skills that buyer may have. 

Listing agents represent the seller, and their sole purpose is to sell the property for the most money in the shortest period of time.  Having the seller spend money unnecessarily is not an option with us, nor is creating a potential mess for the seller to handle in the future.  We are listing agents, and we represent the sellers' best interest, not the buyers'.  That's your job, buyers' agent!!! 

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Barbara Todaro

Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

308 W. Central St...suite E

Franklin, MA 02038

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Rainmaker
144,749
Markita Woods NMLS#196099
Fairway Independent Mortgage - Woodbridge, VA
Queen of Mortgages - FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA

My goal is to help the buyers make an an informed decision, so with that in mind as a lender I recommend buyers have their own inspection.

Jan 24, 2011 04:11 PM #53
Rainmaker
207,250
Pat Tasker
Shorewest Realtors - Germantown, WI
Your Milwaukee Metro Area Agent (WI)

this sure is a big discussion!  I have found that in lower price ranges it is good for buyer and seller.  seller has an inspection done prior to listing, and a copy is available for showings, and a copy give with any offers...that way the seller has disclosed all they know. 

Jan 24, 2011 04:18 PM #54
Rainer
117,531
Robin Risley
Kamali Sotheby's International Realty - Cannon Beach, OR
CRS, GRI, Principal Broker

Barbara, I agree with you.

I think it is in the buyer's best interest to do their own inspection.

Jan 24, 2011 04:28 PM #55
Rainmaker
363,067
Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee
SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061 - Baltimore, MD
Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068

When we live with issues in a home day to day obvious defects should be corrected.....the buyers inspection will indicate if there are any other defects and we can negotiate it from there.we don't realize that sometimes all it would take is a 50 cent washer to fix a drip, where the buyer may see the drip and imagine a much bigger issue.  Buyers may use that drip or other equally small issues to negotiate hundreds if not thousands off a purchase price. 

I wholeheartedly agree that obvious defects should be corrected.....the buyers inspection will indicate if there are any other defects and we can negotiate it from there. If the seller thinks their home is perfect and therefore they don't see the "obvious defects", a competent home inspector may help them to realize that their 1950's home is no longer new!

Great discussion!

Bridget "Maryland Mortgage Mama" McGee

 

Jan 24, 2011 04:34 PM #56
Rainer
163,254
Ryan Case
SCA Real Estate - Anaheim, CA
877-828-0710

Great post, so many great points of view! Congratulations on the feature!

Jan 24, 2011 04:41 PM #57
Rainmaker
411,740
Navona Hart
Real Living Cornerstone - Farmville, VA
Selling the Best Properties in Central Virginia

What, this one was a time warp, got lost big time in this post!  Barbara, I agree that we should not under any circumstance complicate the real estate transaction--or at least that is what I am reading.  However, if I have a seller who I know could kill a deal on a home inspection I recommend one--might as well know now what they are going to find.  I disagree with a comment in the sea of comments that a seller home inspection should only look for the big stuff.  Relocation, estates, divorce have all been great circumstances to a pre-inspection.  I believe in getting the hardest one available and then leaving it on the table for the buyers.  Good thought provoking, energy starting post!

Jan 24, 2011 09:12 PM #58
Rainer
26,089
Ann Gravel
Pat Bennett Realty - Plaistow, NH

Boy, did you open up a well Barbara.  Can't add much to it because everyone said it all.  My take, do your duty by the seller.  Buyers by all means have your own inspection.  If I were selling, givin what I know now, I would definitely do an inspection just to see what has culminated in the years I owned the property.  TA TA.

Jan 24, 2011 10:03 PM #59
Ambassador
758,987
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

So Barbara.  Shall we just name the baby "Murky Water?"  It's a living breathing thing so we've got to call it something.

Jan 24, 2011 10:34 PM #60
Rainmaker
839,374
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Oh Charita and Barbara, this is getting really good now, love all the comments. Home Inspections are like CMA's you will get different reports and opinions. I tend to like to have the buyer repair what they want and adjust the price. Maybe instead of repairing the oven the new buyer will put in a whole new kitchen. Maybe the repair man will do a poor quality job on the roof repair and the new inspector still will complain about it. So many what if's in these scenarios.  Great AR post and thread ~ Thank you.

Jan 24, 2011 10:57 PM #61
Rainer
322,221
Jayne Anderson
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty - Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Robert ~~ North Carolina is a Caveat Emptor State.

"Let the buyer beware."

Jayne

Jan 24, 2011 11:31 PM #62
Ambassador
2,556,938
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Barbara, a stirringof the muck to be sure. I have only asked one seller to do a pre-listing inspection and that was for extenuating reasons. The home had been in the family for over 50 years, and had always been maintained well. The seller had purchased the home from an ailing mother 8 years previous, but never lived there. It was a large house and the seller was required to complete disclosures so we suggested they do a pre-inspection. It offered up issues thatneeded attention, beyond roof, furnace, etc. All was done, and when the buyers did their inspections the paperwork was offered if wanted.

Jan 24, 2011 11:32 PM #63
Rainer
118,516
Noah Levy
Coldwell Banker - Highland Park, IL
Coldwell Banker Highland Park IL

Barbara

I agree with you on this one!!!!  I also agree with comment #62 - in that every inspector will give varied opinions - so let the buyer's do their due diligence and if a problem arises it can be discussed as to how to resolve it with the seller.

Jan 24, 2011 11:35 PM #64
Rainmaker
574,407
Brin Realty Associates Team At Bean Group
Bean Group | Brin Realty Associates - Amherst, NH
Amherst NH homes and Southern NH real estate

A couple of points:

1.  We are all in agreement that a buyer needs to do his own inspection regardless of what earlier inspection have been done

2.  Buyers sometimes distrust information provided from earlier water tests, radon tests or inspections (not all, but some do)

3.  My business is primarily listing properties and I do NOT encourage pre listing inspections. 

4.  An inspection (like an appraisal) can have as many opinions are there inspectors.  One will say the roof is fine, another says it must be replaced and another says it has a few more years of life.  I want the buyer getting advice from the guy he/she hired.

 

Jan 24, 2011 11:51 PM #65
Rainer
91,712
Lexie Longstreet
Savvy + Co. Real Estate - Charlotte, NC

Boy This Topic is HOT!  As an agent who sells primarily older homes (almost all are over 50 years old)  it is always a tough call to ask sellers to have their home pre-inspected or not.  I don't want my sellers to have any surprises - but I don't want them to spend money unnecessarily.  They are already going to be surprised by the lack of showings, the low ball offers and the complaints about their decorating.  It is hard enough to get a contract, I don't want to get one and have it fall apart because of some "surprise" under the house.  Get it done, get it fixed...or disclose.  I also worry with such tight margins on some sellers... they might not be able to afford to fix things... after the buyer finds them... then we loose the contract.  Everyone looses.  

Jan 24, 2011 11:51 PM #66
Ambassador
1,652,889
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Barbara great topic for discussion and you certainly made your case.  Most time I don't have the seller do a pre-inspection but I have had occassion when it sure made sense.

Jan 25, 2011 12:04 AM #67
Rainmaker
1,048,125
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Interesting post and opinions Barbara. The inspector in comment #50 brought to the table some good thoughts however his main argument that  "due diligence legal requirement" is wrong! When did having a home inspection ever become a legal requirement. That would be a nice law if it existed for home inspectors.

I see both sides of the argument on this one:)

Jan 25, 2011 12:17 AM #68
Rainer
128,855
Dan Quinn
The Eric Steart Group of Long & Foster Real Estate - Silver Spring, MD
Dan Quinn

I have never had a seller do a preinspection on any of my listings.  I don't encourage it and most sellers don't want to hear about it.  If they do an inspection however, the question of disclosure arises and will have to be resolved before the house is put on the market.

Jan 25, 2011 01:07 AM #69
Rainer
106,947
Jan Stevens
Coldwell Banker Pittsburgh - Cranberry Township, PA

This is a complicated issue. I don't suggest it to sellers but sometimes wonder if I should. If they are willing to fix EVERYTHING, then it is fine. One seller did it on her own, fixed everything in the report, then put the report and all the receipts on the kitchen table for buyers to look at. But if I were representing the buyer, I would still suggest they do their own inspection...

Jan 25, 2011 01:13 AM #70
Rainer
34,895
Jacquie Cliff
Champions Real Estate Services - Lynnwood, WA - Lynnwood, WA
- Real Estate and Short Sale Expert

I would agree that in most cases there is no point in having an inspection done prior to listing. But as is pointed out by some of the other comments, having all the maintenance items taking care of ahead of time is very important.

Jan 25, 2011 06:11 AM #71
Rainer
24,420
Darren Miller
About The House - Succasunna, NJ

As a home inspector, I discourage pre-listing inspections because now the buyer has to disclose the report. With that said, last year I did 2 pre-listing inspections and both houses sold within 1 week of being on the market. Extremely fast in these hard times! (I got a note from both sellers thanking me for the helping sell their house).

 

Now, someone else stated this-

Why is a buyer having an inspection done? What is the legal imperative?

They are exercising their right to do due diligence on the home, so that should they need to seek redress in the courts at a future point they will have the right to do so. Effectively maintaining their right to sue the sellers if they ever need to.

I was/am under the impression that once a transaxtion is complete, the only way a seller can be sued is if they commited an act of fraud. Am I wrong?

Jan 30, 2011 05:27 AM #72
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