Dear Michael: I am selling my home and the buyer’s home inspector found numerous items in my house which he states are in need of repair. My house is 50 years old and I have done everything to maintain it in pristine condition over the years. This inspector was totally out of line. Now the buyers are asking for a list of repair that I don’t agree with. What happens if I say no to their request for repair?
Answer: Buyers have an X amount of days to complete their investigation of property condition. Usually with 17 days. As a seller you don’t have to agree to any of those repairs. Question is: are you willing to risk losing your buyer in a slow market? Only you can answer that question. I have seen home inspectors rip houses apart and scare of buyers. The buyer’s agent is usually the one who refers the home inspector. Something tells me that the buyer’s agent may not have much experience. Home inspectors with experience know how to present a report without alarming buyers unless there is something majorly wrong with the house. This would usually be disclosed by the seller before the inspection, unless the seller did not know about it. It’s all in the way the home inspector presents the report. You as a seller may accept, refuse or negotiate the request for repair. Whether or not the sale will proceed is really up to you and the buyer coming to an agreement.
Dear Michael: I am purchasing a home and the termite report shows that the property has infestation. Should I be worried about going forward with the purchase?
Answer: Your purchase agreement will state who is responsible for a pest inspection report and completion of work. Usually this is the seller’s responsibility. As long as the repairs and any findings are paid for and completed by the seller and their pest Co. you have nothing to worry about. The pest inspection report does need the buyer’s approval. If you determine that the extent of repairs is beyond your approval, you can cancel the agreement. There really is no need to be alarmed as long as the seller takes care of all the completing the repairs and fumigating the house if need be.
Dear Michael: My wife and I are looking to purchase a home in a community we are not too familiar with. What should we look for when choosing a home in a neighborhood?
Answer: There are many factors a buyer must consider when choosing a home. Here is a thorough list of things to consider: How clean are the streets? How's the property upkeep in general? Are there streetlights, sidewalks? What's the noise level? Is there a commercial industry nearby or train/airplane/ freeway traffic? Do you notice any unpleasant odors from some unseen source? Is public transportation within walking distance? Are freeways or expressways accessible? Are there opportunities to attend sports events, cultural affairs, adult education? Are there parks, hiking trails, outdoor activities or tennis nearby? How far to work from your prospective house? How far to shopping, schools, hospital, places of worship, and entertainment? How far from friends and relatives? These questions are all very elaborate. If some or most of them meet your search criteria it may be worth considering the designated community. Your Real Estate agent will help you find the right community you seek.
Correction: In my previous column I mentioned that you must have owned your home for 2 years to qualify for the tax $250,000 tax exemption ($500,000 if you are married). You actually have to have owned and lived in your home as your primary residence for 2 years.
Michael Kayem is a Realtor with Re/max /Execs serving Culver City and the Westside since 2001. You can contact Michael with your questions at 310-390-3337 or e-mail them to him.