***Shameless self promotion of the value of a buyer agent ahead***
I've been having a wonderful time over the last couple of weeks with young buyer clients. They are first time home buyers in Macomb County. The interaction has been very good. They are such a nice young couple, eager, and knowledgable.
I now know what makes their eyes light up and what makes them cringe when viewing homes. They also are keenly aware of the fact that I work for them and not for the home sellers.
Over the weekend we viewed a home that has been on the market quite some
time, and recently had a nice sized price reduction which put it into the "let's take a look at it"
range for my clients. The home was stunning. Simply stunning. One of the few move-in condition
homes I've seen all year. I advised my buyer clients as I always do: If it is the one for you, make
an offer. Don't take a chance on someone else getting it while you mull over a decision by days or weeks. By the time we arrived at the next home on the list they had made their decision. They wanted to write an offer on the home, a generous one at that. We made plans to meet at my office the next afternoon.
That evening though something had been nagging at me. As I thought more about
the home I realized it was probably not the square footage it had been reported to be,
and determined that we would head back to the house the next day before writing the
offer to measure it ourselves.
The next day I arrived at the office earlier than my clients and while I was reviewing
the disclosures that had been faxed over I also saw included a sketch of the property
lines with the house also on it. Oh my. Measurements included! My trusty calculator
determined the square footage of the house: 200 square feet less than what was
reported to both of the multilist databases. (To double check this I went back to the
home and measured it myself.)
Short version of what took place next: My clients wrote a generous offer based upon
the actual square footage of the home, condition, and closed comparable sales. We
attached a letter to the offer explaining why it was coming in lower than I'm sure the
seller expected, explaining about appraisal issues and the fact that in this market
not only are appraisals a true concern but also a buyer should not be paying more than
fair market value.
The offer was soundly counter-offered to darn near close to full asking price. My clients
have made a very wise decision this morning to reject the counter offer and move on to
viewing other homes.
The difference in a 200 square foot discrepancy? Approximately $10,000 to $15,000
in value to the home in my opinion based upon the comparable sales.
Had my clients been unaware of the square footage shortage, they would have spent approximately
$300 for a home inspection and another $350 or so for an FHA appraisal. When the appraisal fell
through (as I am convinced it would have) that $625 would have been money wasted.
The value of a buyers agent? Priceless. A buyers agent works on the behalf of the
buyer. Daily. With every home.
I will be contacting both multilist associations and reporting this discrepancy to them. I cannot
in good conscious let another buyer unknowingly make an offer on this home assuming it
is the square footage reported.
© Kris Wales RE/MAX Advantage 1, Inc. A Macomb County MI real estate agent