Home Inspections. Here’s where the trouble can start, unless you've done the work up front. I taught a course on showing homes once a month for 15 years at Weichert University. The home inspection process actually starts at the time of showing a house. Show the good, the bad and the ugly. If the good out ways out the bad, the buyer will accept it. But if the bad is a surprise after an offer is made and accepted, deals can fall through.
I had a couple from Texas buying here in New Jersey. I previewed the first and second floor of a beautiful 3600’ colonial less than three years old. The price was great. As soon as we drove up to the house, they loved it. Loved the two-story entrance, two-story family room, the upscale kitchen. We ran up the stairs, and they were equally Impressed with the second floor. It was a steal!
We went down to the basement. Uh-oh, water standing in the middle of the floor. Strange, but I said, “You can get this basement 100% waterproofed, so you won’t have that problem. (I called a home inspector to find out more about this before we went to contract). Then we noticed a wall in the basement which looked like it was buckling. I told them, “We can get an engineer to see what can be done. Nobody is going to let this beautiful house fall to the ground.” And that is what we did. A credit was built into the contract to cover the waterproofing and engineering repairs and it was accepted. The sellers knew they had these problems but did not disclose them, initially. As a good agent, I made sure my clients knew about everything I knew before an offer was made.
All was going great until I got the radon report. Yes, the house had a high level of radon. This was another surprise. I called the buyer and said that I had good news and bad news. “The bad news is you’ve got radon gas in the basement. The good news is that it can be remediated, so that you never have to worry about any gas staying in the basement again.” They are still living in the home today.
Move into the backyard to view the roof while showing the house. You don’t have to be an expert to see a problem when the singles are curling. Look for the age of the water heater. If it’s over 10 years old, mention that it will need replacement in the future. Showing the front steps need repainting is a good thing. The buyer should base the offer price knowing these things. When the inspector comes, he will say “the roof needs replacement” and the buyers will say, “We know”. When the inspector says, “The water heater is at the end of its life expectancy;” the buyer will say, “We know”. No further negotiations will be needed; no risk of the contract falling through. It’s a tried and true way of showing a home.
A good agent will be at every inspection, be it for the seller or the buyer they represent.
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