During a recent home inspection with a first time home buyer, there were several foundation cracks discovered underneath the house with one of them measuring over 6ft in length. The horror! If that weren’t enough, mold was found as well. Just shoot me. In a strange twist, my awesome 1st time buyer who had been looking for a home for over two months, really saw himself in this particular house and was not thwarted by the home inspection findings that would’ve scared most buyers away. Though we extensively discussed the many issues the inspector noted, the buyer quickly managed to get several contractor bids for the foundation and mold aspect of the repairs and though not an inexpensive project to say the least, not one so expensive and daunting to him that he was willing to walk away from the home he wanted in the area he desired without a fight…and a much needed seller concession.
After negotiating the terms to death with the seller, who coincidentally didn’t even live in the home, she was presented with the final option of paying less than 1/10 of the bill in out-of-pocket expenses (less than $700) in order for us to move forward. To further placate her during the sticky negotiations, both myself and the other agent had agreed to reduce our commissions to make up as much of the difference as possible to lower the seller’s out-of-pocket costs. Mind you the home had been purchased in the 60’s for less than $30K with no other sale or refinance on record. There were hundreds of thousands of net proceeds to be gained by the seller.
In the strangest twist of all, the seller still refused to re-negotiate the terms of the contract because she was selling “As-Is” and the buyer had agreed to a counter offer stating such. Hm…didn’t she realize they had not countered our 17-day inspection contingency time period and the actual verbiage stated seller wasn’t willing to pay for repairs? Contrary to popular belief and unless stated otherwise, that didn’t automatically mean the buyer had to. Also, I reminded the listing agent that all recently discovered material defects related to property would now have to be disclosed by both her and the seller to the next buyer if they should let this great one get away. The buyer still had to pay before close of escrow: his down-payment, closing costs, and have reserve funds available to go towards the many other post-escrow repairs that were a priority (i.e. termite damage in the garage that contractors stated was buckling the structure, original electrical that couldn’t sufficiently sustain today’s modern technological usage, etc). Regardless, the seller wouldn’t budge a centimeter over an amount equaling less than $700 and the listing agent had become hostile towards our side. It was over, finito, fade to black, Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Wow.
I was extremely disappointed for my buyer who had bent over backwards to make this happen, but in some ways I was relieved as well. All money isn’t good money. All homes for sale are not good homes. As I told my buyer sometimes the home you want is not necessarily the home you need. This is a prime example of why every buyer, whether veteran or first time buyer, should always have a professional home inspection performed regardless of how “purty” a home looks or it’s age. Nor should a home buyer in my strong opinion ever forfeit their home inspection contingency as some do in a seller’s market. It’s with a thorough investigation of a property that a home buyer can make an informed decision in knowing when to move forward and when to step back. In this case, the buyer wasn’t willing to allow the home he wanted to fall through the cracks, unfortunately (or maybe in this case fortunately) the seller was! Buyer has moved on. NEXT!
If you need professional and experienced assistance in finding a great home that’s right for you, do not hesitate to call us at 310-508-4354 or feel free to visit our website at FirstTimeHomeBuyerRealEstate.com
[photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons and Dr. Colleen Morgan