One of the biggest obstacles I'm coming across in the inspection process is a home that is not prepared to be inspected.
Some of the biggest problems are:
1. No power to property
2. No water to property
3. Physical damage to the property (including vandalism)
What can Realtors(R) do to help minimize this?
1. Call the listing agent to confirm services are on
2. Call the City to re-confirm water service is on
3. Call the utility company to re-confirm electric service is on
One service that is preferred to be on, but can be worked around is gas service. If the gas is off, you can always call the utility service provider, and request the gas service be turned back on. For liability purposes, they will always do an evaluation of the gas devices to ensure they are in good working order. The key is to make sure you do this before the close of escrow, so if there is a problem, you can do something about it before the deal closes.
Physical damage is hard to prevent, and comes in several flavors:
1. Copper wiring cut from house preventing operation of electrical systems
2. House plumbing fixtures & pipes vandalized preventing operation of plumbing systems
Without water or electricity, its like trying to check out how well a car runs without gas ...
The biggest reason I can provide for doing just a little extra legwork by confirming services are on is that you only have a limited amount of time to perform all your due diligence inspections. Especially with bank owned properties, that period can be especially short, so there is little to no margin for error in the process.
Of course, the other school of thought is "who cares, its an as-is deal anyways?"
That argument holds up well in the short run, but quickly loses value when angry cleints call you after the deal has closed saying "I know it was an as-is deal, but I dind't know THAT was wrong, otherwise I NEVER would have bought the home"
Think this doesn't happen? Simply ask any professional Realtor(R) who has been in the business for any period of time, and they can usually personally testify to how often this happens.
Inspections are part of the process because they allow clients to negeotiate with all the facts laid out in front of them. Imagine having to pick your spouse having only some of the facts, its not quite that drastic, but you'd be surprised just how unhappy a client can become if they feel they were not provided complete disclosure before making the final purchase decision.
Here's to your business success, committed to serving you and your clients with the utmost of integrity.
Regards, Jeff Bond