The Julie Pogue Properties Louisville KY Real Estate Blog

Fix it or Forget it

Fix it or Forget it… 

Believe it or not no home is perfect; not even a newly renovated home or new build. Every sales contract includes the right for the buyer to have their potential new home inspected by a licensed home inspector. A typical contract will include a timeframe to have the inspection completed and request submitted followed by deadlines for the seller to respond.

Getting the right home inspector is key. Get someone you trust; if you are unsure ask your realtor for suggestions. Realtors work closely with inspectors and can point you in the right direction.

The home inspector will take several hours looking at every nook and cranny in the home. The report they issue will include everything from the mundane cracked paint to the any serious structural issues. You may be wondering, why not focus just on the big stuff? Buyers need a professional, impartial eye to let them know what they really are buying. Not everyone can fix the mundane so it’s best to know what truly lies under the cosmetic. The home inspector will sometimes suggest the buyer get an expert opinion on certain things. For example, they may know they air conditioning unit is not functioning properly but they aren’t trained to diagnosed the problem.

After the buyer receives the inspection report its time to compile their list of items they would like the seller to fix, replace or correct.

But be wary buyers; ask for the moon and you may be denied, but if you don’t ask for enough you could be in for a headache. 

So what do you ask for?

Consider your needs:

Are you a handy person? If there are things you could fix yourself with little expense consider keeping them off the list and focus on the heavier jobs such as electrical or roofing repairs. 

New vs Replaced

A buyer's request for repairs, replacements or corrections must relate to issues the inspector found in the home. For instance, if the windows are operational but outdated a buyer typically wouldn't ask for them to be replaced with a new model. However, if the seals are broken you could ask for them to be replaced.

Keep in mind, every repair, replacement or correction you request will cost the seller additional money, making the seller more hesitant to do a long laundry list of repairs. The seller may opt to provide a credit at closing to put toward repairs rather than completing themselves. Sellers typically will do a combination of things to complete the buyer’s requests. After all they do want to sell the home.

Keep in mind repairs are a negotiation process. Your realtor will be your closest ally. Remember they’ve bought and sold thousands of homes and can help ease your fears and get you the house of your dreams.

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Contingencies

Contingencies 

Spring is just around the corner and with the warmer season, buyers and sellers will be out and about exploring their options. 

Every residential sales contract typically is filled with standard conditions that must be met for a sale to be finalized; i.e. the home must appraise or the buyer must secure financing within a certain timeframe. These are called contingency clauses. Though these are standard in every contract, there are a couple more clauses to be aware of. 

In a perfect world, every buyer would have all the funds needed to move ahead with a home purchase regardless if they currently own a home. Though we do not live in the perfect world, there are ways to move forward with purchasing a new home while waiting for your home to sell – Contingency. 

The most common contingency added to a contract is the sale of a current residence. This can be tricky for both buyers and sellers. 

What happens when a home has an accepted contract with a contingency?

When a seller accepts a contingent contract, they still have the right to continue showing their home in hopes of getting a non-contingent offer. If they do get another offer, the buyer has 24 to 48 hours, depending on how the provision was written, to decide if they could drop the contingency and continue on with the purchase despite not having a pending contract on their home. If they cannot move on with the purchase, they unfortunately lose the home and have to re-start their home search. 

What other less common contingency options could you see?

The seller could ask to make the sale contingent on purchasing another property or a specific piece of property. 

Moving furniture early: With this contingency, you and the seller agree to allow you to move personal property in (or move in entirely) earlier than the seller anticipated. You may have to agree to pay the seller rent if you move in before closing, but it will spare you from putting your belongings in storage and finding temporary lodging. Most sellers and agents are reluctant to pursue this avenue because of the liabilities involved.

Homeowners insurance: To get your loan, you will have to obtain homeowners insurance. It’s not optional. However that insurance could cost far more than you expected. You can protect against this by making the purchase upon your being able to obtain affordable insurance. 

The biggest thing to remember about contingencies is that they should be in the contract to benefit both parties. They also should have expiration dates; no sale can be contingent indefinitely.

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