Buyers: How Close Are You Looking?

Real Estate Agent with Comey & Shepherd Realtors

While showing a property today, I noticed that there was a sump pump in the corner of the basement that looked to be a part of a waterproofing system.  Since 95% of the basement was finished, it was not possible to know if the waterproofing went all of the way around the foundation.  That's what property disclosure forms are supposed to tell you.

I then started looking closer at the unfinished area near the furnace and after moving a some stacked items, I noticed what appeared to be some mold across the bottom section of the back-side of the drywall.  Obviously with the basement being waterproofed, they previously had water in the basement.

When looking at properties, make sure you "carefully" check out things whenever possible, so that you can get a better idea of the true condition of the home.  Now don't try moving an entertainment center or start unplugging the computer or stereo system, but you can do many non-invasive things to see what the home really has to offer.

I always look under rugs.  Once in a home, I pulled up a small area rug and was I ever surprised.  The hardwood floor had a hole in it big enough for most people to get their shoe stuck in it or at the very least, a strained foot. 

I also do a lot of looking "UP" to see if there are any water stains or major cracks on the ceiling or walls.

Now I believe most people are honest, but it is amazing what one sees when showing homes.

What have you found lately by keeping a closer eye as you walk through homes?

Posted by

Dan Weis
Real Estate Consultant since 1985
Comey & Shepherd Realtors

Cell/Text: 513.615.1890

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Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal
Usually there are some nice stains or burn marks on the carpet underneath the furniture.  It is always a good thing to lift up all the small throw rugs.  They are usually put there to cover things up.
Mar 12, 2007 11:25 PM #1
J Perrin Cornell
Coldwell Banker Cascade Real Estate - Wenatchee, WA

I agree with what you are saying. But (at least here in Washington) you also walk a fine line between being an agent and an inspector... get too carried away you could find yourself being held to the same standards of an inspector then other problems you did not see can become your prroblem when they are discovered by the buyer months later...

Still you do the best job you can.

Mar 13, 2007 01:58 AM #2
Wendy Bloomquist
RE/MAX - Tallahassee, FL

With one of my first clients I went with the home inspector they hired and watched him complete the home inspection.  It was a great learning experience! He went through with his fine tooth comb looking for the normal things they look for and along the way he pointed out things that I should look for when listing and showing property. He gave me pointers on how to discreetly look and the signs of problems.

 If you haven't been able to do something like this I suggest you do!

Mar 13, 2007 02:17 AM #3
Brett Baker
Realty Executives of MId Missouri - Jefferson City, MO
E-Pro, GRI
What do you do when a seller doesn't tell the truth about items on the disclosure. I recently closed on a home only to find out my seller was not honest about the age or condition of his HVAC unit. Now the buyers are upset because it is not working properly. I can see the HVAC unit and it looked rather new but it turns out my seller bought some refurbished parts.
Mar 13, 2007 12:23 PM #4
Dan Weis
Comey & Shepherd Realtors - Cincinnati, OH
Cincy Real Estate Advisor

Brett, Thanks for your comments.

Did the buyers have a home inspection done?  If no, why not?

I think it's important to realize that there's only so much you can do.  You're not a home inspector or an HVAC contractor, but here's a couple of ideas:

- offer a 1-year home warranty plan to the buyer

- have the seller pay for a pre-sale home inspection (which should uncover defective items)

- ask the seller for any paperwork of recent repairs or upgrades

- if your state has a property disclosure form, tell the seller to fill out the form as though it were going to reviewed by a judge and jury.

I hope this helps you.


Mar 13, 2007 12:59 PM #5
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Dan Weis

Cincy Real Estate Advisor
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