Getting to Deal Breakers (Like Projected Remodeling Costs), Faster

Eighteen months ago, when Wall Street-backed Buyers were vacuuming up Twin Cities homes, the first showing was effectively the inspection.

tireThat’s because such corporate Buyers purchased sight unseen (for cash!), and used the inspection to decide if they really wanted the home.  See, “Cash Buyers, Sight Unseen.”

So, when is a showing actually the Buyer’s inspection?

Two cases:  1) foreclosures, which are by definition unoccupied and sold “as is”; and 2) homes needing significant remodeling/updating.

With foreclosures down dramatically, that leaves case #2.

Saving Everyone Time; “Is That Wall Load-Bearing?”

While it may seem out-of-bounds for Buyers to use a showing to rigorously gauge a home’s condition, construction, etc. as a listing agent, I usually don’t have a problem with it — and encourage my Sellers to be accommodating (to a point).

That’s because it’s much better — for both Buyer and Seller — to take a bit longer to put together a deal that will ultimately survive inspection, than enter into a deal with major unknowns that’s likely to break up later.

Such a front-loaded approach works best when the Buyer is candid with the Seller about what they’re up to; is careful to leave the home in exactly the condition they found it; and — especially if the home is occupied — consolidates multiple contractor visits into one showing (vs. 3-4), whenever that’s possible.

See also, “Home Sales With No Buyer’s Inspection.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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