September 12, 2007
I felt like I was going in for a rectal”, said one of my recent home sellers, explaining how he felt when the buyers and their home inspector marched thru his house for a 3 1/2 hour home inspection. While other sellers have not been so descriptive with their feelings, most feel the same way. While this market certainly makes the sellers the underdog, I have some suggestions for buyers before and during the home inspection.
1. If you know of a major issue (heater / roof / septic) which may need replacement, voice this concern before the inspection to the seller, so they know what you’re looking for.
2. At the same time, let the seller know you are not going to “nickle and dime” them for cracked sidewalks, broken window seals, or a wiggling pantry door knob.
3. Understand their position. Put yourself in their shoes.
4. Meet face to face if there is an issue which can not be agreed to. Be cool. Be open minded.
Most homesellers know what their home needs. They just don’t know how strong your requests or demands will be.
September 6, 2007
A mortgage pre-approval is not a loan commitment. It typically means a lender has checked a buyer’s credit, takes their word for it that they currently are employed and make $ xxx annually. The lender in turn prints out a letter or certificate which states the buyer has been “pre -approved to buy a home for with a mortgage of $250,000”, etc.
Recently, I have had buyers or their agents refuse to provide me with this information. Over anxious sellers get confused and frustrated by this, and sometimes the buyer, getting into a seller’s ear, will convince the seller that the pre-approval is worthless anyway, since it is not a loan commitment. I have watched buyers tie up a sellers property, then get denied for their loan. This recenly happened with a buyer who made an offer on my listing, refusing to provide me with info. When I did a little homework, I discovered he had tied up another local property listed in the same neighborhood. I spoke with that listing agent, she told me, “He never gave me his pre-approval, and I asked him too.” Of course, this was very negligent of the agent.
What happens next? The buyer, knowing they have the seller in a bad position, asks the seller if they can rent the house, and do a lease-purchase, buying the home in 6 or 12 months.
This is a scam. Refuse any buyer’s offer who will not provide you or your agent with a pre-approval, especially from a local, credible lender.