Cracks in basement block walls

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Our buying agent was paid by the seller. We were assured that she represented our best interests by law. Again, my naivite is showing. She knew when the inpspection was going to occure because she kept very close to our case, calling, etc. I thought she was just trying to do a good job. Maybe that's true, I don't know. I payed the inspector. My wife kept our egent busy for a few minutes so I could speak with the inspector alone during the post-inspection walk through.
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That sentence shivers me. Was this a licensed Realtor?
In my state I can take a class taught by brokers ($500.00), never be licensed but work for the selling Realtor....thus, *buyers agent*.
A buyers agent does the foot work, phone calls, holds an open house with baked cookies. And brings the walk-in buyer to the selling Realtor - under their license.
Think Realtor vs *buyer's agent*
Oren --
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"Mac" wrote

That's essential. In my state, the realtor is not allowed to be there when the inspector discusses the findings but the findings afterwards may be given to the realtor. In our case, the realtor was there, but not in the same place (he was out in the back yard).
I *think* I recall that VA state or my local county/city law required the realtor be advised if there were any actual safety issues discovered. Those issues then had to be disclosed to any potential buyers until inspection showed they had been fixed. There were two in our house, but it was not a major stop. It was the electrical outlet that operated the garage door opener (2 prong with adapter ungrounded plugged in for a 3 prong device) and the cord for the electric motor for the well pump in the back yard. We dont use the well pump, and we replaced the garage door and mechanism with a manual unit to match the new siding.
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Interesting, I don't thing we have this specific law in place but I will check. It was the inspector himself who claimed to be a :deal breaker", my fault for falling for it. He was not recommended by our agent, I refused to use hers (and it ticked her off a bit I think). My friend with the home remodeling business told me he didn't know enough about foundations to be of any help. Too bad, I wanted someone I could trust. I'll keep looking. I may just pay a structural engineer who doesn't do the repair himself (although it's possible he would want to make a recommendation and therefore would be motivated to cry the sky is falling. See, I'm learning). The house is actually pretty well landscaped (when there's no snow on the ground), so I don't need to do a lot there, just manicuring. I do need to add some dirt/grass to the grade and extend the downspouts a little. And I don't want to talk about the electrical. All two prong upstairs, which I knew. But the basement has all three prong outlets. I thought that was good since I would have my computer down here and GFCI doesn't do any good with electronics (static electricity and all). However, not one of the plugs in the basement is grounded. Why would someone wire the basement and use grounded outlets with two-wire romex? Geez. Anyway, thanks once again for all the advice. I'm just fighting for may family's financial well being and my peace of mind. -Mac

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Harmless to check. You can probably find out from google. If you'll tell me what state you are in, I can look about too. I might find it faster because I kinda know what I am looking for.

Most agents get a small kickback for this from the 'inspector'. Before you think that is horrible, be at ease. As long as they do an honest report, thats ok. Normally, they do an honest report because they can be held liable in most places for gross negligence if they do not.

Too bad. I'd have thought he would know enough to at least say 'gee, I can tell that is really serious' or 'gee, sorry, this level I cant tell if it's serious or not'

We all do. I didnt even blink at the 1725$ for the chimney repair I needed. I did not bother to get a second estimate. I went with an old established company I knew and had used before, well recommended by others in my area. Extremely HIGH quality work. Because they are a franchise, I can not say if that comany would be good anywhere else, but here they are top choice.

Flowers and bulbs, low maintenance bulbs are planted in late fall or earliest spring. I'm slightly seeging topics here but if you are serious still that you may want to sell, 'curb appeal' can make a whopping huge difference.
Mom used to 'flip houses' (new term, we didnt have a name for it then) for a living. Her and us 3 kids would live in the house, fix it, then sell it for a profit. We'd live off the proceeds and put the seed money into another. It was in South Carolina where we had one that we did almost nothing but paint and put up a little wallpaper, and fix the yard. 3,000 bulbs, 4 trees, a lilac 'garden', azaleas, roses, gardinias. A few pansies but most was 'plant and forget'. Though some bulb types have to be dug up in winter then replanted or they get 'confused and come up wierd looking next year' most do not. We sold that house with 5 competing buyers all offering more and more til one was the winner. We even had bulb types that flowered all different seasons so you'd see some in fall. Amaranth? Sorry, been to long to recall well.

I have much of that here too.

They simply didnt rewire it. They just replaced the outlet with a 3 prong type and left the ground not plugged into anything. Grin, learn to use a multimeter and it takes seconds to see that one.
I have the same in some areas but some of the house was rewired to a proper true 3 prong. Livingroom, kitchen, bar, 1 of the 3 bedrooms, much of back porch, garage. I have 3 bedrooms with 2 prong and no ground wires run. 7 of the 19 outlets on the back porch just 'look like 3 prong' but arent really. I have no outlets in either bathroom (something we'd fix if selling but it actually doesnt bother us any at all).

Welcome! The most trying time for a new homeowner, is the first 2 years. Suddenly instead of it being 'some one elses problem, its YOURS'. But as time goes on, you start building equity and that feels *wonderful* once you have been there a bit and start to notice it. At first all you notice is the problems and the costs.
I bought at 83,500$ in 1995. The only reason why my house is only worth 160,000$ now is I am top end for my neighborhood. My 'mortgage' is fixed (never do anything else! Change if you went variable as soon as you can when the rates are low!) and still only 766$ a month which includes the taxes and insurance. Because we also kick an extra amount at them every 3 months of about 300$ which comes straight off the principle owed, we now 'own' a bit over 1/2 the house. My rate can never go up though the portion which is insurance or taxes can.
It's a 4 BR, 1.5 bath with full garage (which is still a garage and attached landry room) 1,100sq ft. Rental value alone in my area is 1,100 for the place next door with no fireplace, no enclosed garage, no back porch (mine is HUGE), only 3 BR 1 bath, postage stamp sized 850sq.
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Isn't that always the excuse - kickbacks are OK if the work is goodanyway. :-/ The *problem* is - it's an incentive that works better if the work isn't good (more for less work) or in the interest of the agent (dishonest). That the inspection would be good would be in spite of, not because of or even neutral with regard to, the kickback.
It's well worthwhile for a buyer to get his or her own inspector. Even if it means hiring one *and* going along with the inspection the agent insists on.

He's honest enough to say that he doesn't have the expertise regarding foundations. That's a Good Thing.
Banty
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Can I ducktape over the cracks for a few months? It's freezing down here, like the other night it was 61 degrees. A space heater helps but ducktape takes less electricity.
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I prefer Duct Tape over the Duck Tape.
Just my aged bias:-))
Oren --
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Oh yeah, you guys are hilarious! Actually, "ducttape" just didn't look right. Heck, nobody uses it for ducts anymore. My brother calls it rock and roll tape. My daughter calls it miracle clothing mender tape.
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Mac wrote:

In the military it is "100 mile an hour" tape.
--
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http://www.homekb.com/Uwe/Forums.aspx/repair/200801/1
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INSPECTOR via HomeKB.com wrote:

aem sends...
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I dunno, but taping ducks to it might be pretty messy (grin).
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Not near as messy as installing a kaa-newt valve in a duck.
Essentially, it allows air out and prevents water from entering, after the bird has landed on the lake.
YMMV!
Oren --
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We're in central Illinois, if that helps.
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Sorry, no. "Your" agent was the showing agent, legally working for the seller, and splitting the commission with the listing agent. A buyer's agent is someone who contracts with the buyer, usually for a flat fee (not a commission), to represent the buyer and only the buyer. Unfortunately, many people who go around calling themselves a buyer's agent are nothing of the kind: they are agents who are not good enough at selling to have any listings of their own. They survive by trying to be the first to show buyers a house, and then they demand half of the commission if "their" buyer ends up buying the house. Consequently, these agents are keen to show you lots of houses, which impresses some buyers tremendously.
I spent a day with one of these agents, driving around to look at houses I had researched, I had found driving directions to, etc.; all this guy did was use his magic dongle to unlock the lock boxes on the doors of unoccupied houses. I'd given him a list in advance but he didn't bother to arrange for us to see any of the occupied houses. I guess he figured a drive by would pass as first showing. After that experience, I dealt only with the listing agent of each house I looked at.
    Una
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Oh my gosh, we were warned NEVER to deal with the listing agent. Again, live and learn. Next time, I'm doing my own inspection (along with the required hired inspector), hiring a buyer's agent, and passing up any house that won't let me get up on the roof (or at least a ladder), empty the closets, and maybe camp-out in front for a day or two. Oh yeah, and I'll pass on the third bedroom to get a my fireplace back.
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The problem is not as much as who you deal with as it is in knowing who it is you are dealing with. I don't look to a real estate agent for advice on how to fix foundation problems, how to get a loan, or much of anything else, except maybe providing me with some comparable sales data and serving as an intermediary. It's a lot easier to tell a real estate agent that you think the kitchen sucks and the bathrooms need to be remodeled and thats why your offer is what it is. They can then take that to the seller and perhaps help explain that it isn't unreasonable, that other similar houses do have better kitchens, etc.
I'd prefer to deal with only the listing agent. Why? Because they have a 6% commission coming. With no other broker involved, if I make a low offer, as part of the final negotiation, it's not unusual for the listing agent to be willing to cut their commission to make the deal happen. They can get 4 or 5% and still be better off than if they had to hand 3% to another broker. Or they can get 3% and be no worse off. What would they rather do? Kick in $5K in commission cut that doesn't really cost them anything and have the deal done, or work 6 more months trying to sell it, perhaps without success?
If you get a buyer's agent, they are typically going to be paid out of that 6%, getting 3% They do have a fiduciary responsibility to represent your interests. But, does that mean that you should tell them the highest you will pay for a house they've found? I think not. Unless you pay them by the hour, which I've never seen, they still have an incentive to get the deal done and over with, don't they?
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:
SNIP HAPPENS

Commission rates in the RE world, and the splits, are almost as opaque as what goes on at a car dealership.
Around here (Portland, OR) the "common" residential commission charged a seller is 7%. Everybroker save one charges that rate. Of course, its not price fixing. Yeah, right.
In the typical transaction, the listing agent and the selling agent are not the same. The listing agent and the selling agent frequently work for different brokers.
In the typical transaction around here, the listing agent's broker gets 3 1/2% and the selling agent's broker gets 3 1/2 %. The listing agent gets whatever part of that 3 1/2 % that is in the employment contract between the broker and agent. Usually only 1% of the sale price, leaig the broker the "long piece" or 2 1/2 % of the sale price. A really reallysuccessful agent can sometimes get half of that 3 1/2 %, or 1.75%, which is .0175 of the sales price. Same split on the selling agent / selling broker side of the transaction.
Around here, agents pay "desk rent" to broker to have an office and phone / secretarial support. Brokers will pay or ads for houses, sometimes to be reimbursed through sale proceeds.
Brokers around here take a few extra state licensing exams, have to have larger surety bonds, and as a practical matter have to have the capitol to outfit big offices and pay onging operating (electric, phone lines, office rent) expenses.
The money is in being a broker.
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On Jan 29, 1:23am, snipped-for-privacy@att.net (Una) wrote:

This is just nonsense. A buyer's agent is typically compensated by the seller. The seller has an agreement with the listing agent that typically says that agency gets 6% when the house is sold. If a second broker is involved on the buy side, then that agency splits the commission and gets 3%. The agreement with the buyers agent specifies that they have a fiduciary responsibility to the buyer, to represent their interests, but may be paid a commission by the seller. Unless you get into some strange arrangement, where you yourself as buyer are going to pay an agent, that's how it works. And since at 3% the agency gets $9K on a sale, how many real estate agents are going to screw around with some reasonable low fee that the buyer would pay? Answer: no good ones. How much would you personally pay an agent?
Now, is that arrangement perfect? No, but it works provided you use some common sense along the way.
By dealing with only the listing agent, you then get into dual agency mode, where they represent both parties and keep the full 6%.
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No, it is not nonsense. Just outside your own experience.

Yes, and therein lies a built in conflict of interest, because it is in all the agents' interests to obtain the highest possible purchase price.
In any case, the devil is in the details. Apparently the OP signed no agency agreement with "his" agent, so in some states his agent would not be his however he says he is in Illinois. There, according to http://www.illinoisrealtor.org/IAR/buy_sell/legal/agency2.html , in his case a presumed agency may exist. Or not, depending on what exacty "his" agent told him.
    Una
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