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VOL. 40 | NO. 11 | Friday, March 11, 2016

Pre-inspection offers no guarantee of perfection

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To pre-inspect or not to pre-inspect? That is the question. Since inspections are killing a higher percentage of sales than ever before, many agents feel having homes pre-inspected is wise. And it can be.

One reason is that if there is a significant defect in the house, it can be discovered and repaired before placing the house on the market. Such a problem could have proven severe enough to give the buyer pause and perhaps terminate the contract.

Had it been corrected, the sale would be intact.

Contrary to what some buyers believe, most homeowners are not aware that the house has issues and few try to disguise them. Some do.

If a pre-inspection is performed, the the buyer is definitely aware of any shortcomings the house may have and is forced to repair the deficiencies or disclose them on the Tennessee Residential Property Disclosure.

When those repairs are made, most buyers breathe a heavy sigh of relief feeling that they are through with the repairs and the house is basically being sold “as is.”

However, a subsequent inspection might uncover a slew of new issues, some of it having to do with the weather on the particular day the house is inspected.

For example, radon levels rise on wet, overcast days. And termites usually await warm weather to congregate or swarm.

So a house that tested well last week in the mild windy days might have radon flowing through it at high levels this week. As for termites, they may be dormant this week and chomping 2x4s in two weeks.

Additionally, with some 117 components to houses, some things break with no warning. So the pre-inspection might be helpful in saving sales, but it is the beginning of the process, not the end.

Sale of the Week

When homeowners in Bradford Hills decide to list their houses, they should call a Realtor and movers because the house will sell and close quickly.

For the uninitiated, Bradford Hills is across from Lenox Village on Nolensville Road (Pike to newcomers). Two homes sold there last week.

The home at 500 Call Hill Place in Bradford Hills sold in a few hours for $221,000 after Walker Igleheart listed it for $219,900.

Igleheart, with Village Real Estate Services, noted the home features hardwood floors, high ceilings, fireplace and updated kitchen.

Elle Brown of Exit Realty and the Garden Gate Team, beat the other Realtors with her strong offer and closed the sale in four days. That’s right, four days from list date to closed date. I hope the mover was available.

Down Bradford Hills Road to Fogle Street, Candace Campbell and Stephanie Crawford closed a sale that lingered on the market for almost three days as the owners allowed showings and collected offers with Crawford’s besting the lot. The house sold for $227,900, slightly more than the list price of $224,900.

Here’s how appreciation occurs.

The next listing in Bradford Hills will be for $229,000, as the real estate broker has presented comparable sales, and the owner has said that they would take $227,500, the highest sale, but want to add a bit of wiggle room.

The agent then warns that exceeding $229,000 will scare some buyers and that it would be difficult for an appraiser to appraise it for that much should anyone actually offer that amount.

The house is put on the market for $229,950, and that price is met enthusiastically with cores of showings and multiple offers. The listing agent can do one of two things:

-- Send everyone back to the drawing board and have them return with their highest and best offer

-- Take the highest offer from among those assembled.

Someone will have offered more than list price. If they followed the trend, they might offer $232,500. If the appraiser balks at the price, the listing agent produces several offers as evidence that $232,500 is the market price. Appraisers will usually accept that documentation.

The next month, someone will list their house and know that $232,500 is the record. They will ask to list for $235,000 so there is room to negotiate. The house is listed, flooded with would-be buyers and a stream of offers, many for more than the $235,000 list price. Off to the races.

Richard Courtney is a real estate broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and cab ne reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.

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