We’re Not Fixing Anything

THIL_Stubborn

Real estate has seen it’s share of trends come and go. From the Dusty Rose counter tops of the 1980’s, to Southwest decor, to the “everything has to be brown” color palate. From the rambling ranch to the split level to the garden home. And let’s not forget how the industry was taken by storm by the rise of the open concept living space.

Among the many challenges involved in buying and selling property is dealing with the “As Is” option, which seems to be gaining in popularity. I understand the motivation behind this tactic. Telling the buyer up front that the home will be sold in it’s current condition, regardless of the results of the home inspection seems like a savvy strategy. Letting them know from the beginning that you won’t be taking on any repairs would be sure to simplify the process, wouldn’t it? Cut those pesky repair negotiations right out of the process, right?

Wrong. There are many consequences of using this technique, however, simplification is rarely one of them. Let me tell you why.

When you start out the process of negotiating with the buyer by saying, “We’re not fixing anything” there are several thoughts that automatically go through the buyer’s minds and these are almost universal.

THIL_CloserLook1.) It makes the buyer suspicious.

While you may be trying to cut down on drama or unrealistic repair lists, practically the first thought that springs into the mind of the prospective buyer is, “They know there’s something wrong with the house and it must be something BIG for them to say that up front”. You have immediately injected negativity into both the negotiations and the minds of the buyers, and let me tell you something, it is difficult, if not impossible, to come back from that.

In a recent conversation on the subject, Wendy Jones of Keller Williams Realty in Lubbock, Texas, said it best. “A seller can really injure a relationship with a buyer and maybe even end it before it starts with the “As Is” option. In most cases the repairs that come up are minimal in cost, even in those deals that have a laundry list of to do’s.”

THIL_Frustrated22.) It puts the buyer in a combative frame of mind.

If you thought the buyers were going to go over your house with a fine tooth comb before this stipulation was introduced, brace yourself! Because now, they think you’re hiding something and more often than not, take it as a personal challenge to find it, or instruct their Inspector to be extra cautious.

And guess how we Inspectors react to this situation? Exactly the same as the buyers! The first thing we think is that we don’t even want to deal with this situation and/or we don’t want to get sued if we miss something, so… we will be extra sensitive about reporting even the smallest items if they can be even a slight warning sign of a problem.

Has the process gotten simpler yet?

THIL_WinTogether3.) It’s not necessary.

Listen, I get it. If you’ve had to come down on the price a lot more than you wanted to, it can be a knee jerk reaction to say, “Fine! But this is it! Don’t ask me for any repairs!” It’s understandable. But the fact of the matter is, if certain conditions exist, you’ll have to fix them for anyone to consider the purchase and in some cases, for the property to be insurable. Such as, you ask?

Such as a hail damaged roof. Unless you have a cash buyer, the roof will have to be insurable. So having said “no repairs” will have been both waste of breath and will have poisoned the relationship for nothing. And examples don’t end there.

Such as a Federal Pacific electrical panel. Such as Kitec plumbing. Such as issues with roof or floor framing in older homes. Such as termites or original sewer lines. These are just some of the items that most people will either want fixed, or want money off the sales price so they can have them fixed. In any case, they will have to be addressed one way or another. So why make the spirit of the deal negative and make the inevitable negotiations that much more difficult and the parties involved that much more rigid?

My advice is this: Take the situation as it comes. It’s entirely possible there won’t be any (or many) requested repairs. And if the buyers want you to repair something, but you feel you have done enough already by coming down on the sales price, just say no. Then they’ll know they’ll have to address it themselves, or they’ll walk away and you’ll both start over again. Just keep in mind that once you know about an issue, you have to disclose it to the future buyers. It’s not going away, so get ahead of the game by either addressing the issue with repairs or making it known up front.

Wendy_Jones_2Wendy Jones has some good advice here, as well. “I believe sellers often know they have deferred maintenance and are afraid of what might come up, but my job as their agent is to help them make good decisions, assess cost and even find experts to hire, as well as walk away from a deal that is just not in their best interest.” (Wendy Jones’ website can be accessed here: Wendy Jones Team

So, the takeaway here is to do your due diligence and be sure to get a great Realtor like Wendy Jones to advise you. A pre-market home inspection can also go a long way to easing your mind, or at least letting you know for certain what you’ll be looking at dealing with in the future. Knowledge is your friend!

Thanks again for reading my blog! Please be sure to comment below and “Like” and share on your preferred social media platform. And as always, I wish you a safe and happy home!

 

Pre-Market Inspections: A Seller’s Friend

THIL_ProactiveHaving been in the home inspection industry, I have had to become familiar with some things that most people don’t deal with but a few times in their lives. I have had to get used to quickly making myself comfortable in someone else’s home. I have had to learn the art of tactfulness, which I’m told is the art of making a point without making an enemy. I have had to learn to deal with difficult, even volatile people. So it’s safe to say that I have become comfortable with most aspects of this business. That’s why it sometimes takes me by surprise when people get stressed out about their home inspection.

If you find yourself in this category, let me assure you, you are certainly not alone! Most people, especially owners of older homes, are concerned about the results of their home inspection, and the impact that those results may have on their sale. They fear, in particular, a home inspector who may “pick their house apart” and try to impose an unrealistic expectation on the person purchasing their home.

One way to counter this fear is to have a pre-market home inspection. This is simply THIL_Preventhiring a home inspector to perform a home inspection before the house goes on the market. Some people argue, “When the buyer has the inspection done, I’ll get a copy of it then, and can do the repairs then.” Not so fast my real estate selling friend! In Texas, since the buyer is the party that paid for it, the inspection report is considered the buyer’s property. Whether or not they share for free the information that cost them hundreds of dollars, is entirely up to them. Also, the buyer may see a list of deficient items as a potential list of problems and decide to move on to the next house.

Some people say, “Well, the buyer is just going to hire their own inspector, so why should I pay for one, too?” A valid point, if you are unconcerned about the findings. There are some good arguments to the contrary, however.

It Shows You Care About Your Home

A home owner who has a pre-market inspection, and then shows the buyer the issues that were found and the proof of correction, shows the buyer that the owner cares about his home, which likely means he or she has maintained the property well. Maintenance is HUGE in property ownership, as regular readers of my blog will know. Okay, regular readers of my blog are probably rolling their eyes and doing a head slap and saying, “Okay! Okay! We get it! Move on, Home Inspector Lady!” My constant harping on this subject may be considered a viable alternative to Chinese water torture, but I digress.

It Shows Trustworthiness

THIL_TrustThe “cards on the table” approach to home selling, where the seller is honest about the fact that the property was not entirely without issues (no home is), tends to make the buyer see the seller as honest and someone they can trust. Getting caught in a cover up is a sure fire deal killer, for good reason!

It Cuts Down on Stress During a Stressful Process

Can we just say it? Moving sucks. Showing your home, negotiations, packing up EVERYTHING you own. It just blows. If you enjoy it, I’m sorry but you’re just weird. My mother told me something during the purchase of our first home that I have never forgotten and found to be absolutely true: No real estate deal ever happened without some last minute heart attack. She’s a very sharp lady, my mom. Hi Mom!

THIL_StressFreeDo yourself a favor and circumvent any stressful situation that you can, and one thing you can do is have a pre-market inspection, so you know what a home inspector is likely to find. I have to say that most home owners are surprised when we find an item that needs attention. We look at their home completely differently than they do, so often times they aren’t even aware of the problems we uncover.

Truthfully, whether you are selling your home or you just need a list of items that need maintenance or repair, a pre-market home inspection is smart money. Here’s an example: Did the Inspector find chipped or peeling paint? It may cost some money to paint your house, but replacing rotten soffit and fascia and then painting is a good deal more expensive, I promise you.

So, give it some thought. A pre-market home inspection can only benefit you, whether as a home owner or a home seller. Knowledge is power. Be a freakin’ super hero!

I would love, love, love for you to comment below with your thoughts or experiences. Pin, like, share and all that good stuff. I’m always happy to answer any home inspection related questions, so email them to thehomeinspectorlady@yahoo.com .  Thanks ya’ll and I wish you a happy home!