Open Permits on a Home “What’s Your Script/Dialogue”
I have to agree with Bob Stewart “crowdsourcing (i.e., posting) scripts and dialogues aren’t just for actors. When RE professionals share their successful stories (personal dialogues) with others. Improvement, growth comes through enigmas & paradoxes. “As Bob nicely phrased it -there’s no substitute for experience”
Years back, I had a situation where I had found out the home we just got into a contract with had open permits on the home. This experience is worth reviewing. “Buyers finding out after the sellers accepted their offer -the property had open permits.”
Right away I knew I had to inform my buyers about the news. I had worked with these clients for two weeks before entering this contract. I knew right away (no matter how I initially delivered the news) they were going to say to me “it sound a bit shady, Jon.” Even I think it sounds awful,too.
The reality can be much different sometimes. Sometimes an open permit is a tremendous deal, just as sometimes open permits are not. Depending whether or not the permits are required work? Is it a building addition? Was the work started? When it comes to an open permit on a house you need to know every detail about the open permits before you know what you’re dealing with, sometimes that means asking the sellers questions.
The agreeable news that most folks don’t realize “many permits expire in a year” but, nevertheless (the moral of it all) -All the details from the building department concerning open permits need to be known. Another important note: Some lender will not write the mortgage on a property that has open permits.
No matter what I knew it was my job to get all the facts about the open permits and then present them factually to the buyer. The last thing I wanted my buyers to believe is that they got defrauded, and especially did not want them to feel as they would lose any of their down deposit.
Instead of making a phone call about my discoveries -I decided to invite the buyers over to my office. I knew the chances of this blowing-up would be a lot less if I had a clear presentation of all the facts and meet with them in person. (I believe there’s “comfort” in trusting eyes)
The buyers seemed anxious to meet with me; I could tell they were extremely excited about their offer being accepted. When they walk into my office, I “first” made sure they were comfortable and offered them anything to drink or eat.
Once the meeting started I became real serious, right from the start, I told them I found out something about the home, I explained this is no joking matter and that we need to deal with this problem right away. The mood I set was serious, and I did it for a specific reason, “I wanted them to know I do not take buying a home lightly, especially their future home”
The buyers actually saw how serious I was taking this issue which translated into them believing -I’m their guardian, hence, my goal. The buyers truly appreciated all the work I did about finding out about this issue, and they trusted that they would be protected by me.
I ended-up having both open permits officially closed within a few days -and had the documents added to the file. Thankfully, both open permits were for backyard projects “which work was never started” The process of having the open permits were extremely easy to accomplish, but doing the extra work, presenting the issue to the buyers in the right manner, and resolving the problem lead to another happy home-buyer, as well as a content RE agent.
Trust is a source of pride and a true honor, trust is power...