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

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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... "
So, you have no problem with leaking drain lines, leaking water lines, electrical wiring connections outside of boxes and one side of a room 2" lower than another?
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The leaky drains are all news to me. Nothing is showing from the exterior of the home. All of my drains work well, drain well, flush well... 2" is on the high end of a guess-timate, with 1" being on the low end. But apparently THAT inspector said that he was not a foundation expert and that she should get another opinion as to if it's a problem or not.
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So what? It comes down to price. If the house is overpriced the buyer should walk away. If it is a bargain in spite of the repairs needed, the buyer should grab it. Nothing demands that either party give in to the other. If I was the seller, I'd probably just refuse the offer and move on, but fixing any potential safety issues anyway. I'm not sure what is meant by putting the electrical wires in junction boxes. If the wire is rated for exposure, I'd leave it. If connections exist where there is no box, it should be fixed.
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19. Edwin Pawlowski Jan 13, 11:57 am
So what? It comes down to price. If the house is overpriced the buyer
should walk away. If it is a bargain in spite of the repairs needed, the buyer should grab it.
I agree with that, but apparently lots of people, including you, seem to have a problem with a buyer doing a home inspection and finding real problems. Leaking drain pipes, water pipes, foundation problems and electrical connections outside of boxes are all legitimate issues uncovered by the inspection process.
"Nothing demands that either party give in to the other."
No way to know that without seeing what's contained in the contract.
" If I was the seller, I'd probably just refuse the offer and move on, but fixing any potential safety issues anyway. "
Only safety issues? How about leaking water and drain pipes? Disconnected heating ducts? Virtually all this is gonna get flagged again by the next inspection, unless you hope to find a buyer that won't do an inspection, but that may take a long time.
" I'm not sure what is meant by putting the electrical wires in junction boxes. If the wire is rated for exposure, I'd leave it. If connections exist where there is no box, it
should be fixed. "

That's pretty clear to me. Sounds like there are exposed electrical junctions under the house that need to be placed in junction boxes. Just about verything this inspector found seems reasonable to me.
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I never said I had a proble with inspection. I have a problem with the buyer demanding the fixes. As I said, depends on the price. Many a good bargain can be had with a 'fixer upper". Sure, the seller can fix them and perhaps raise the price. Many options exist. Either (or both) party can walk away.

There was no contract signed from what was posted. The buyer made an offer not yet accepted.

The OP said she never saw leaks. Maybe they exist in the inspector's imagination. Gain, depends on what you expect and are willing to pay for wh at you get.

Electrical wires don't go into junction boxes. Only the ends to be connected do. No, it is not clear. Could well be some UF wire running exposed that they want in conduit and that is NOT a code requirement.
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"24. Edwin Pawlowski Jan 13, 1:58 pm
"There was no contract signed from what was posted. The buyer made an offer not yet accepted. "
I'd have to disagree with that. Not only is it normal practice to have a signed contract before the inspection, but it's clear from the OP that they did in fact have a signed contract:
"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... "
A buyer would be crazy to spend $500 for a home inspection without having a signed contract that spells out the inspection contigency, timeframes, etc. They could spend the money and have another buyer show up, offer a little more, and be out the $500.
"The OP said she never saw leaks. Maybe they exist in the inspector's imagination. Gain, depends on what you expect and are willing to pay for wh at you get. "
Yeah, maybe the inspector is a total fraud. But it's more likely the homeowner never crawled under the place to look, isn't it? Everyone of those things is common to find and can't usually be seen without an inspection.
"Electrical wires don't go into junction boxes. Only the ends to be connected do. No, it is not clear. Could well be some UF wire running exposed that they want in conduit and that is NOT a code requirement. "
A conduit isn't a junction box. I don;t think an inspector would say junction box if he meant conduit. Again, it's common for half assed homeowner repairs to be done joining some wires together with wire nuts and leaving them hanging somewhere. And that is a code violation and safety hazhard.
But what I don;t get is the idea that the seller should just put up with this stuff. The contract called for an inspection. It was done. Now they have to negotiate how to resolve the defects found, which is just part of the process. Most times people here are bitching cause they didn't do an inspection or they had an incompetent inspector who missed defects. For the buyer to expect most of this stuff to be fixed or given credit for is not unreasonable at all. A year ago, you could probably tell a buyer to take it or leave it. But if I was under contract to buy a new house like the OP, I'd sure think twice before I tell a buyer to get lost over a list, that with one exception, can be fixed for maybe a thousand bucks.
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Bob G. wrote:

I agree that most buyers can be irritating. When we sold our last home in a very nice, very "hot" neighborhood one of our neighbors called the first day with a lowball offer (he wanted the house for his brother) of $35K less. Each day he called again with a lower offer until I blocked his calls. When we found the right buyer we gladly offered an allowance that would cover repair of some items their inspector found (but not all).
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wrote: : : >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? :
IMO, this thread's pretty much reached the point of diminishing returns with a lot of people suggesting the same basic response but deciding they're experts on all kinds of things, including some which weren't even in the original post.
The OP should decide whether they want to be firm on the price (sounds like it would be logical to do) and just tell the buyer "yeah, sorry you'll have to spend a little extra money; hope it's worth it to you" and let them decide. Just don't hide anything, don't lie, take a position and stick to it. Then it's someone else's decision and not theirs to worry about. On the other hand, you could set a "minimum" price in your own mind to accept, and tell them something like "Oh, OK, I'll take as little as ... but that's my only concession", but not more than a couple thou difference. NO house is going to be perfect for the buyers, period. Something will always be not quite right; it's the nature of the game to be picky. Pick and attitude - stick to it. You'll have time later to take a new one if it's really necessary. Doesn't sound like it is. There are some real con type people out there too - they're the ones are "fun" to deal with if you don't take them too seriously. Just be agreeable, nod politely, and say NO when they underbid it.
That is, IFF as the OP indicated, there is time for all that. Otherwise some concessions may be in order. That's also part of the game.
My two cents anyway,
Pop
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scribbled this interesting note:

<snip>
Most of the items listed are, while not necessarily minor, not difficult to attend to.
Got a leak? It ought to be fixed. Putting electrical connections into boxes is trivial to achieve. Taking up a toilet, installing a new wax ring, and connecting it to the floor is about as hard as the electrical boxes. Loose ducting isn't difficult to fix. In fact, the only thing on the list that is really problematic is the foundation repair, which may, or may not be a real problem depending on the actual situation.
Bottom line? Do you want to sell now? Or later? If now then you can make a counter offer to her counter offer, specifying the property to be sold as-is with no warranty, either expressed or implied, as to condition and livability. In such a counter offer, I would not make concessions on the price. In fact, I would state that if these repairs are made, the price, in fact, goes up. I would structure it such that the price goes up by more than the cost of the repairs. Otherwise the potential buyer is free to buy the house as-is at the last agreed upon price.
As to your realtor, the realtor is not motivated to sell your house at the highest possible price. Remember, most realtors are working for themselves, but have fees to pay. Your realtor will split the commission with the buyer's realtor. That leaves your realtor 3%. Most realtors have to split that with their brokers, so that leaves 1.5%. 1.5% isn't very much. An additional $10,000 in selling price means only $150.00 to your agent in this scenario. And the realtor may have to do quite a bit of work for that $150.00 and may indeed be motivated to put more work into selling other properties that will net the realtor more money for the same amount of work over the same amount of time.
Bottom line? Everything is negotiable. If you don't like the offer, then make a counter offer. Put a time limit on the counter offer so you can be free of it after a certain time passes.
If I were the buyer, I wouldn't want the seller to make any repairs. Why? Because the seller is motivated to make the repairs in the cheapest way possible. The buyer should be motivated to obtain the highest quality repairs, which may or may not be the cheapest.
Good luck...
-- John Willis snipped-for-privacy@airmail.net (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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.
And I wouldn't be afraid to suggest to the Realtors that they pick up part of the cost of repairs out of their commissions if they want the deal to go through. When I was selling Real Estate, I paid for quite a few items that cropped up at the last minute that would have broke the deal. And the last house I purchased, the Realtors split $1000 reduction in commission because the seller was going to be short of what he needed to get out of the house. Contrary to what most people think, Realtors commissions are not set in stone. In fact law requires that they not be or the question of price fixing would be raised by the government.
Tom.
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comments in line

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"Ahhh, but remember that the potential buyer showed up with her son, who was introduced as the potential buyer's agent.
$ 269,000.00 house, 7% standard Seattle area resdential comission is $ 18,830.00
Split bewtween seller's agent and buyer's agent puts $ 9,415.00 in buyer's son's pocket. "
Dream on. The $9K goes to the agency the son works for, unless he happens to be a broker on his own, which is uncommon. The agency then further divides up the money, with the son only getting a portion, typically half at most. If most real estate agents got the whole thing, there would be lots of rich real estate agents.
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Tell the buyer that the 1" settled foundation has been that way as long as you've been there and never been a problem. Take it or leave it.
Separate the rest of the items in the list into repairs you're willing to do and ones that you're not willing to do. For the ones you're not willing to do, offer a little cash back at closing to pay a professional (she's probably just trying to weasel cash out of you anyways).
If it breaks the deal, then so be it. And if it does, fix as many of those problems as you can anyways. It'll make the next buyer happier at inspection.
-rev
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Comments in line --
SNIPS

If your real estate agent answered any of this anonymous "fishers" questions about your internal positions regarding price or factors that might force you to take a quick sale, your real estate agent ought to be strung up frm the nearest lamp post. No way a seller's realtor ought to be answering any questions about the seller's motivations for or needs to make a quick sale. The seller's agent needs to be constantly reminded that they work for and are paid by the seller. And only the seller.
Sadly, seller's real estate agnts all too frequently do exactly that, and indeed start working for the prospectve buyer. Its outrageous and all too common. Its motivated by what some one down thread already pointed out. The seller's agent wants to turn the house very quickly and get paid NOW.
SNIPS

Gee, big surprise that your agent wants to take more money (cost of repairs) out of your pocket and put it into the buyer's pocket so that he agent can put money (commission) in her own pocket.
I'd point out to the real estate agent that she has at best a 60 day listing, and that it won't be renewed, and that she needs to do her job for you.
No way there would be any new seller's disclosures based on any "inspection" done by anyone who you personally didn't hire and pay. If your real estate agent doesn't like that, she can "fire you" and release you from the lising agreement.
I'd tell the prospective buyer who made the offer that there will be zero repairs for her, and that she can take the house "as is" or take a hike.
If the prospective buyer takes a hike, I'd make all the repairs except the foundation stuff (all of it except the foundation stuff is "Harry Homeowner" stuff), and add the cost of repair plus 20% of the repair cost to the asking price, and re list the house at the higher price.
-- Jim McLaughlin
Reply address is deliberately munged. If you really need to reply directly, try: jimdotmclaughlinatcomcastdotcom
And you know it is a dotnet not a dotcom address.
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Yes, I am getting irritated with my agent.
I'm thinking that I may fix the plumbing leaks, that's something that probably wouldn't be all that much to deal with in the greater scheme of things. The rest... well, she could take a hike on. I got a real ball park figure from a foundation repair place of between 4K and 8K. That is in addition to paying for a structural engineer to formulate a plan and pulling permits. All that for something that hasn't moved in years.... I can't say that I'm inclined to do it.
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27. Jim McLaughlin Jan 13, 12:33 pm
"I'd tell the prospective buyer who made the offer that there will be zero repairs for her, and that she can take the house "as is" or take a hike. "
Another man of principle, that would let a deal that's in the bag go down the drain and start all over with a new buyer, who's very likley gonna find the same obvious and legitimate items. You couldn't even get a CO in most places for this house if the town inspector knew there were leaking drain pipes, water pipes, electrical junctions exposed, etc.
"If the prospective buyer takes a hike, I'd make all the repairs except the foundation stuff (all of it except the foundation stuff is "Harry Homeowner" stuff), and add the cost of repair plus 20% of the repair cost to the asking price, and re list the house at the higher price. "
That's swell, but the price of the house is gonna be set by the free market, not what it cost you to do repairs now that should have been done a long time ago. Raising the asking price while the seller has another house they are buying on contigency doesn't sound like a very good idea to me.
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You must be in a different reality than the rest of us --
Deal is not in the bag. Foundation work is $ 4 - 8 K according to OP. OP has stated that he's not going to do that.
Only "evidence" of water supply line leak, exposed junctions (which may or may no exist) ,drain leaks and toilet wax ring and seal problems is from an "inspector" hired by a potential buyer who has already demonstrated a propensity to play "games".
Potential buyer called the seller's real estate agent to fish for what is supposed o be confidential information, showed up with a son as her "agent" when she viewed the house, and whom she expects the seller's agent to kick back half the 7% commission to, etc.
In the circumstances, I'd give zero credence to the potenial buyer's inspection report.

Again, no evidence that the repairs are actually needed.
"Start all over" ? This offer came within 6 days of putting house on market. Getting offers in that area is apparently no big deal.
Actual final sale price will be set by he market. The maket is bigger than one offer.
An asking price is set by the seller.
It isn't an actual final sale price.
You seem to be confabulating the two.
Asking price is an asking price, no more no less. Raising the asking price after firing the damn fool seller's real estate agent is no big deal. Provides seller with a little more "wiggle" or negotiating room.
YMMV, but it ain't your house, bub.
--
Jim McLaughlin

Reply address is deliberately munged.
  Click to see the full signature.
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33. Jim McLaughlin Jan 13, 2:16 pm
"You must be in a different reality than the rest of us -- Deal is not in the bag. Foundation work is $ 4 - 8 K according to OP. OP has stated that he's not going to do that. "
I never said I would do all of it. Only that the list of items appears legitimate. If you found the foundation sinking 2" on a house you were under contract to BUY, what would you do? Just say, ok, I'll take it, no problem? LOL The reality is this happens all the time and the logical thing to do is often not to dismiss the buyer as some nefarious witch, but rather to consider the alternatives. It's very likely the next buyer is gonna find most, if not all of the same things and it may be better to negotiate with the buyer under contract, rather than just tell them to shove it.
"Potential buyer called the seller's real estate agent to fish for what is supposed o be confidential information, showed up with a son as her "agent" when she viewed the house, and whom she expects the seller's agent to kick back half the 7% commission to, etc. "
All the buyer asked was how firm they were on price and how motivated to sell. And you see something nefarious in that? It doesn't hurt to ask. Sometimes sellers are motivated and aren't shy about letting it be known. For example, somebody on the verge of foreclosure might well tell their broker to let it be known they are motivated sellers. Geez, I've seen plenty of ads by sellers and realtors with the words "motivated seller, make all offers known", in them. And what's the big deal that the buyer's son is an agent and she wants to use him? She'd be a fool not to.
"Asking price is an asking price, no more no less. Raising the asking price after firing the damn fool seller's real estate agent is no big deal. Provides seller with a little more "wiggle" or negotiating room. "
Yeah, great idea. The OP is under contract to buy another house and you want to raise the asking price to cover repairs like fixing a leaky tub and water pipe that should have been made years ago. And firing the real estate agent isn't as simple as you make it sound, as there is the little matter of a listing agreement. From what I've seen, there is no justification for terminating the listing and you would likely get sued by the real estate agent for the commission. Just the realtor bringing a suit could block the sale.
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SNIPS

Again, there is zero credble evidence that these exist. You are jut in a dfferent reality than everybody else -- no, wait, you are a real estate agent, right?

Braec of fiduciary duty, breach o duty of undivided loyalty. Its a snap in this case

HuuH.....
There IS NO CONTRACT. What commission was earned?
There was a potential buyer's offer with contingincies. Seller has no obligation to accept that offer, and no obligation to dance to the buyer's tune by fixing every little item on what is, at best, a suspect inspction report.
Seller is free to tell buyer to take a hike and seller has no obligation to seller's agent for any comission.
You really do operate in a parallel universe don't you bub?
--
Jim McLaughlin

Reply address is deliberately munged.
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"Again, there is zero credble evidence that these exist. You are jut in a dfferent reality than everybody else -- no, wait, you are a real estate agent, right? "
You mean no credible evidence besides the OP stating:
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!
"Braec of fiduciary duty, breach o duty of undivided loyalty. Its a snap in this case "
What breach of fiduciary duty? Are you for real? The realtor produced a buyer that made an offer which was accepted and that's a breach? What specifically do you claim was a breach of fiduciary duty?
"There IS NO CONTRACT. What commission was earned? "
You obviously have no experience with real estate. When you list your property, you sign a listing agreement which runs for a specified period. If you tell the broker to take a hike, as you suggest, you better have the right to do that without cause under the listing agreement. Because otherwise, if you read the listing agreement, you're likely gonna owe the broker a commission if you sell the house after you fire the broker before the listing agreement expires.
"There was a potential buyer's offer with contingincies. Seller has no obligation to accept that offer, and no obligation to dance to the buyer's tune by fixing every little item on what is, at best, a suspect inspction report. "
Again you appear to not understand the facts or how real estate transactions typically take place. The real estate agent produced a buyer. They made an offer, which THE SELLER ACCEPTED:
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...
"Seller is free to tell buyer to take a hike and seller has no obligation to seller's agent for any comission. "
Sure they are. But first they better read the contract they signed with the buyer that was drawn up when the offer was made and accepted.
"You really do operate in a parallel universe don't you bub? -- Jim McLaughlin "
No, I've just bought and sold enough properties to know how it works. And here's how it typically works and from all indications how it worked in this case. The seller signs a listing agreement with the broker that specifies under what terms and how long the seller is giving the real estate agent the listing to find a buyer. The real estate agent finds a buyer and the buyer makes an offer which the seller agrees to accept. A contract for sale is drawn up, in this case it appears it was done that night by the lady and her son. The contract specifies that there is to be an inspection, paid for by the buyer, the timeframe allowed, what happens if defects are found, etc. Both parties sign the contract. Then the buyer pays an inspector to look the place over. I guess you could be an idiot and do an inspection without a contract, but since the buyer's son who is a real estate agent was there , it's pretty likely they have a signed, valid contract.
The inspector typically finds some issues, which have to be resolved pursuant to the contract. That's exactly what appears to have happened here, yet for some reason, the buyer is supposed to be some nefarious, devious person, just because the inspector found common problems, the most signficant of which, the seller even knew about.
.
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