Two Sets of Parents, Two Buyer Clients and a Home Inspection Going Bad
A day in the life of a Manassas Real Estate Agent. Home inspection with first time buyers. Buyers arrive and home inspector arrives with an inspector in training. Next to show up was his parents....then her parents. Lord help me. This was most definitely my circus and my monkeys today.
The folks were there to be supportive and check out the new place. Everyone's excitement turned to varying levels of anxiety and anger when the heat didn't work. Word from the inspector was the entire HVAC needed replacement, as did the water heater. Turns out, the hydronic heating system had failed because the water heater was failing. Seemed to the folks that the home had failed inspection, now what?
His mom wanted a price reduction. Her mom was angry that the kids were having to pay so much in a far out area and getting crap. The dads were either silent or with the inspector, but much more measured. I couldn't disagree with any feelings they had. They don't want to see their kids broke. I'm right there with them, but I had to overcome the perception that real estate agents are just there to make a quick buck and gloss over issues.
Educating the parents on the various remedies that we had in place, the ultimate being to not move forward with the contract, helped them to trust that their kids were in good hands. I expressed why price reduction wouldn't help them financially and how they could only absorb so much in closing cost help...definitely not enough for a new HVAC and water heater. Eventually, all the parents were won over and understood, despite the lemon of a house we were dealing with, that their kids were in good hands. There was no way I was going to allow them to move forward with a home purchase that would put them in debt.
Before the parents left, I also let them know I had a trust HVAC contractor coming to give me a quote on the replacements the next day. Swift action was something they all approved of, as I knew they would. Of course, tempering expectations as to what the seller was likely to do having had mutiple offers and seeing a bunch of cheap fixes and DIY projects around the recent "renovation" was a clue as to how the seller handled business. Attention to detail was not their top priority. The lowest bid seemed to be the top priority.
It is more likely than not that we will NOT come to acceptable terms with this seller, but as expressed to the buyers, priorities in the house hunt will change after an experience like this. Flashy, modern finishes are not going to matter as much as heat and a/c that work, and gas appliances that were permitted. Structures can be updated, as we saw today, inexpensively. What can put in immediate debt are major systems not working. Updates are optional. And in the sellers market we are experiencing, more and more sellers are doing less and less.