In an extreme Sellers Market...lots of things are different on both sides of the transaction. Sellers realize...or should...they have a great opportunity to get what in some markets is the very highest and best price that the area has seen in a long,long time. The house is very carefully analyzed hopefully by "experienced eyes". Everything from light bulbs to leaking window panes, dripping faucets, new paint, fresh landscaping is a detail considered and repaired, replaced, etc. The listing agent is aware of what items are on a condition report....if there are obvious issues...like a leaking window that is foggy rather than clear...and the Sellers elect not to repair/replace it...it must be disclosed. It is the fair, honest and ethical thing for both agents and Sellers to do in the business of real estate. To find out after
an inspection that a Seller has no intention of replacing or repairing items that they were or should have been aware of that are reflected in items of deferred maintenance....is no way to for any Seller to behave.....OR for agents to allow it...if the "oversights" were truly "over-sighted" and less experienced eyes did not notice them. When called to the Listing agents and Sellers attention...choosing not to repair/replace what was neglected on a condition report sets an understandably and could have been avoided sour tone for the entire transaction. Agents are not expected to be foundation specialists...roofing experts...but they do have an obligation to point out areas of concern...AND to be aware of what those areas might be in any home. It may not be pleasant to give Sellers a "heads up" about maintenance issues...BUT...as they say..."it IS part of the job" and keeps the listing on an honest and even keel with both sides appreciating the efforts of the other.
Buyers go out of their way to accomodate Sellers in every way possible...writing their highest and well financed offers...sometimes excluding appraisals ...foregoing inspections...choosing the closing date that the Seller wanted or being flexible about moving day...allowing Sellers to rent back for little or no money, etc, etc. etc.
The market is soooo tight in many areas...the all intrusive door knocking has become an appeal by agents to "entice" homeowners to list with them. We always put ourselves on the other side of the door...IF I were going to list my house...would I wait until someone knocked on our door ? Probably not.
Buyers have a right to believe as stated earlier that Sellers and their agents will abide by the ethical standard of disclosure...and also repair/replace items found by a a licensed home inspector. Ooops...expect and receive are apparently not the same thing. Ethics and reality tossed aside...the word from Agents with less experience is ..."golly, gee whiz....the Sellers had all kinds of offers...some that didn't even have inspections...here is a little discount...they "knew" that had they chosen another Buyer with No inspection no repairs would be necessary." Hmmmm...was the price the same...were ALL the conditions of the offer the same ? Guessing not...Money talks, sings and dances.
Sellers AND listing agents...do what is honorable and ethical...picking a random number without knowing costs of repairs. When an inspector/agent tells you that you have an obligation to disclose items you knew..or should have known as a responsible homeowner ...were "defective" ...to ignore or refuse to correct it...is not professional, moral, honorable and not the way you would want yourself characterized is it ? Is Morality worth sacrificing for Money ? Hmmmm
This has been an ethical guideline post brought to you by Sally K. & David L.Hanson, Broker Associates with EXP Realty, LLC honored to be ethically of service for all things real estate in southeastern Wisconsin.