Home Buyer: “But when I sold my house I did ALL of the repairs.”
Buyer’s Agent: “My buyers want ALL of the items on the inspection report repaired because that is how I have always handled home inspections and I want to get the most for my client whether this is reasonable or not.”
Professional Home Inspector:“As a home inspector I have more and more liability so not only must I note every little thing I see, I also have to spell out the worst case scenario. What if that tiny speck of fungus is mold? Guilty until proven otherwise by the expert in each field. I can only point things out but I can’t tell you what’s really wrong because I am not an expert…call a licensed contractor.”
Listing Agent: “My sellers have taken good care of their home and this is an “as is” sale per the contract but I do need to urge my sellers to make the repairs because otherwise we may loose the buyer”.
I have been a full time Realtor since 1991 and for the most part these 4 perspectives really haven’t changed. The result is a perpetuation of sometimes grueling negotiations, added stress for all parties and a solution that will require a complete and simultaneous mindset change by all 4 roles in the real estate sales process throughout the entire country. Yikes!
Case in point: In 2011 North Carolina dramatically changed the Offer to Purchase and Contract form for residential real estate all in an effort to make the contract “as is” and finally do away with the troublesome repair negotiations. 4+ years later I really don’t see any changes in my Lake Norman sales transactions.
As I listing agent I just closed on a sale where the buyer’s agent simply wrote on the form: Repair all items 1-30. Really? The missing screw in the window frame hardware needs to be replaced? Would the buyer have asked for all of these repairs or was it the Realtor perpetuating their past practices despite the changes in the law making it an “as is” contract? It is hard to know.
I recently represented an out-of-state buyer who said exactly what I wrote above. They had to do all of the repairs when they just sold their home so therefore they expected the sellers to do all of the repairs. My explaining that our NC contracts are an “as is” sale really didn’t change their expectations. They said just ask for everything and see what they seller agrees to do.
So, will we ever get to a point where our home sales are truly “as is”? The only time I have seen this happen was when the real estate market was so hot in California that we got up to 60 offers on a property. Then, the buyers not only didn’t ask for repairs but they removed all contingencies in order to win the bidding war.
Right now our Lake Norman real estate market is very strong but we are still in a buyers or balanced market. Perhaps when we get to a sellers market we will finally see some “as is” sales. I am not holding my breath!
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