Help, trying to sell and I feel like there's a rat....

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I'm in the process of selling my house. It was built in 1965, I am the second owner, having resided here for 7 years. When I bought the home, I had an inspection done. The inspector basically said that the house was pretty clean. He went into the crawl space and didn't note any real defects. The only thing that he noted was to watch out for a front deck where wood was touching earth (which I ripped out and put in exposed agregate). Another was that the roof was a torchdown (since there is a flat area over the enclosed carport), and just to watch that I kept the debris off of it, but it was otherwise in good shape. He also said that there was some slight settling (1" to 2" max) in the foundation on a corner of the house. That inspector said that wasn't a problem, that it was normal in a house this age.
I'm in the Seattle metro area, which has an extremely hot housing market right now. My home is in a desirable neighborhood and I've spent quite a bit of money updating the kitchen, main bathroom, and landscaping in this home. I also replaced the water heater and converted the furnace to forced air gas two years ago. I asked 269K for this 1941 sq foot home...I had a lot of activity, lots of lookers and interested parties. We were averaging 1 to 2 showings a day and then we have a bite on day 6, with a woman making an offer on the spot.
Ironically, the day before this offer, we suspect that this same woman called my realtor "fishing" for information and asking about arranging a showing with my realtor: She said her name was Pat, that she was moving here from Idaho, asking things like: "Is she firm on the price? How anxious to sell? etc..." The next day, this woman shows up at the house with her agent (her son) and makes an offer on the spot. Ironically, this buyer's middle name is Pat and she just sold her house in *gasp* Idaho. She and her son write up an offer that night. First off, she low balls me 5K off of the asking price, which is fine. I countered and met her halfway at 267K and she immediately accepted. She schedules her home inspection immediately, within 24 hours...
Now that are nit picking to death every little thing they could find with this 41 year old home! All of the defects were supposedly found in the crawl space. She found the same slight settling that I had recorded 7 years ago (no change or movement in foundation). She gave me this laundry list of things to fix before she will buy:
Correct slope in floor & leaning support post fix leak in kitchen sink drain Tighten main bath toilet to floor Replace wax ring in other toilet (2nd bathroom) repair leaking bathtub drain repair leaking water supply line place all electrical wires under house in junction boxes remove wood plumbing & heating supports & replace with plumbing straps reconnect heating duct vent dryer to side of house reattach insulation that has fallen in crawlspace & unblock vents
She wants the house jacked up and that area under foundation repaired so there is no settling, which I know wont be cheap. Replacing wax rings is no big deal..... but I feel like I am getting nickel and dimed here. I'm ready to have this be a deal breaker and walk. Of course my agent is bending over backwards, wanting this deal to close so she can get paid...I feel like she is more concerned about the buyer than me. She's also saying that we will have to do a new sellers disclosure and document all of these findings, which could scare off new potential buyers.
I'm thinking about getting my own appraisal and a second inspection (which I am kicking myself for not doing in the first place). Just to see if these problems are real "deal breakers" or if she is just being nit pickey. Or should I just give her the finger and keep on fishing...
I can't help but wonder if the inspector is a family member to her like her son realtor. She sure is anxious and wants the house....
Any words of advice from people that have been through this kind of thing?
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If you are in no hurry to sell, tell the buyer to find another house. If this is truly a hot market, estimate the costs of all the repairs, add that to your current "sell price" , then back off to your current price so that the next buyer can appear to get a major discount to fully allow for repairs. Your selling price is not set in concrete, and I, too, suspect you are not well served by your current agent.
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Thanks for that. That's the response I'm getting from some other family members too. I do have a contingent offer for the house I'm moving into. So I guess you could say that could fall apart if this house doesn't sell. So I am kind of in a hurry, but not THAT desparate!
Also, anyone have any thoughts on the settling foundation? Is 1" to 2" inches something to really be concerned about on a home that is 40+? or is it fairly normal for a house this age... This is the first time I've ever sold a house, so I'm learning too....
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Shiba wrote:

When I was house shopping in Austin, I had a structural engineer check two houses. His rule is any height difference of an inch and a half from highest to lowest is a concern. Structurally, that range is still OK, but you'll start to see cracks in the walls and floors. If you have nice wood floors--or the buyer wishes to install them--further uneven settling can cause problems with the floor. If they plan to pain or do something elaborate with the walls, a crack will come through.
For those reasons, eliminating these cracks becomes priority one. It's not fun for the buyer to do. They want to spend money on spicing things up after they move in. Fixing the foundation puts money into a pit, and you get what looks like the same house as before.
For houses I was looking at that needed slab work, the cost for putting in piers was about $4,000 for over half the perimeter of 1500+ square feet houses--two story though so the area of the house is perhaps smaller than you may think. I was deterred by this in one house. However, I bid on and now live in another house that was getting to be kind of borderline. We had decided that clearing the dirt around the slab and installing water circulation hoses will distribute moisture and stave off the magic 1.5" threshold.
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I don't know where you are, but your price seems very low compared to what I've seen in NW Seattle. I haven't seen anything in my neighborhood below $300K in a while. I'd be tempted to tell her to "take it or leave it". Every house has problems. Yours don't seem like that big of a deal.
She's trying to get everything she can out of you. She'll probably buy it anyway.
Bob
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I'm in the "Northeast Tacoma" neighborhood, just west of Federal Way, about 1 mile east of Puget Sound. I'm not Seattle, but in between :) There are 500K homes just three blocks west of me, and those lots are half the size of mine (I have a 10K) lot.
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Large lots here are worth a 'lot'. The accessor is nailing me for a 74% increase this year, almost all on the property, not the 'developements'.
Bob
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Same here in N. Illinois...78% on the land. I complained and was told that to protest I had to show my neighbors were assessed less (all neighbors increased, too) or find a realtor willing to do an appraisal that showed they were wrong (min. $300 cost and no guarantee they would consider it). The Assessors office assurred me that they would lower my assessment when the real estate "bubble" burst. Yeah, right! The county government decided to spend $24 million more next year in their budget..give it to them and they WILL spend it. Tom G.
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Yeah, don't even get me started on the assessor since I've moved here. My taxes on this lot are $3005 a year, having more than doubled since I bought the place.
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I think we have a law that they can't increase values more than 10 percent a year.
I went in and contested value and they lowered my value 15% when I showed evidence of termite damage. I also have a spouse that is turning 65 this year so my value will be locked in for life. And on top of that, I get a homestead exemption. Shouldn't they be paying me?
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Shiba wrote:

She seems completely unreasonable - naturally an old house will have some issues. You would be justified in telling her to stop wasting your time. I wouldn't fix the items, because she might just find more items and you would be playing catch-up.
What you do next depends on how much of a hurry you are to sell. I don't know what your area is like, but the price sounds low enough already.
In the meantime, you could tell your realtor that your house is still on the market and show it to some more people. You might find a buyer or your prospect might be prompted to honor her offer.
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Surely that is the whole game of buying and selling.
She wants to get the place for the best price she can, you want to maximise your selling price. It's entirely up to you. If it is a hot market as you say, hold out. If you are desperate to sell then you lose.
Only you know your real circumstances. Stand back, take a deep breath, make a decision and stick to it.
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Tell that woman to go pound sand. She's witch with a capitol B. You're better off selling to someone else, even at a lower price. If someone like that buys the house, you could end up in court for years to come over stupid crap.

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Folks across the street sold their house for a reported $980,000. Buyer's realtor found 43 "defects" which required fixing before sale. Owner said buy "as is". The couple bought "as is". TB
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This is normal bantering of any real estate sale.
You didn't sign anything did you? If you did, then you are stuck with what you signed. Read it carefully. And don't ever sign anything prepared by the buyer.
You have made an offer that was accepted but with 'conditions'. Legally, that is a counteroffer and you can reject it. You should now reject that acceptance/counteroffer and tell her you are no longer interested in selling to her.
You make sure that the price you ask does not include any fix ups. You are now selling the house 'AS IS' and any repairs needed will be paid for by the buyer. But you also must fully disclose all of the items you know about including the list the last inspector found.

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Shiba wrote: ..

You have a realtor. Your realtor is interested in selling your home for as much as possible due to the commission. Let your realtor do their job and you should keep out of the negations. You can then ignore all the little stuff and tricks that might be used by the buyer and only focus on the one thing that counts, the final offer.
--
Joseph Meehan

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"Correct slope in floor & leaning support post fix leak in kitchen sink drain Tighten main bath toilet to floor Replace wax ring in other toilet (2nd bathroom) repair leaking bathtub drain repair leaking water supply line place all electrical wires under house in junction boxes remove wood plumbing & heating supports & replace with plumbing straps reconnect heating duct vent dryer to side of house reattach insulation that has fallen in crawlspace & unblock vents "
Every one of these items appears to be legitimate and would be found by any competent home inspector. Some of them are safety issues, like having wiring connections correctly placed inside junction boxes. Others need to be addressed quikcly, like the leaks, which will lead to big problems like a rotting floor, if not taken care of properly. It's funny, usually people in here are bitching about how lousy and incompetent home inspectors are. It sounds like this one did his job, yet most people seem to think it's unreasonable.
Now, do you have to fix all of these? Hopefully not, but we don;t have a copy of the contract you signed. It should give you an out, where you can decline to fix the problems and it definitely should if they exceed a specified amount. What you want to do depends entirely on your circumstances and how quickly you think you can find another buyer for the same or higher price. A middle ground would be to offer the buyer a discount that would cover some of the repairs.
BTW, you were not well served by your home inspector who told you that 2" of settling is normal for a 30 year old house and nothing to be concerned about when you bought it.
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This seems to make sense at first glance -- the realtor, via the commissions mechanism, has absolutely the same motivation as the seller to get the highest price, right? But as explained in another post on the subject...

This is almost verbatim what I was going to add to the thread. (I think this scenario was one of the case studies in the recent "Freakonomics" book.) Two more risks to the realtor of a long sale process:
You, the seller, might get sick of the realtor and get a new one.
You, the seller, might decide you really didn't want to sell.
For all these reasons, the realtor is much more interested in selling the house now for $250,000 rather than two months later for $270,000. That price gap makes a huge difference for you as the seller, but the realtor must also consider turnover. Time is not on their side.
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chocolatemalt wrote:

You make some good points. In this case I think the seller needs the help of a realtor. Of course some are good and some.. well not so good.
I have sold three homes and I have used a realtor once. I have used an attorney each time. The one time I did use a realtor it was not possible to get the home listed in multiple listings services any other way and it was the easiest way to get the exposure to get it sold.
I don't recommend a realtor for everyone for every situation, but often they can be well worth their cost.
--
Joseph Meehan

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Sorry BUT I only read your original message down far enough that I came to the conclusion that I woudl say NO and tell the buyer to take a hikle...
I have only some one home in my entire life (it was my Dads place after he died and to be honest I hatted delaing with most of the buyers to be...seemed they all kept pointing out little things that I SHOULD FIX or I SHOULD REDUCE my price if I did not....TOLD THEM all NO... The house sold in a few weeks...as is .. for exactly what I asked for it... BUT most of the buyers really did leave a very bad taste in my mouth...
Bob G.

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