Doubling Down on DIY (“Do It Yourself”), or, “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again”

“First law of holes”: ‘if you find yourself in a hole . . . stop digging.'”


One of the more interesting inspections I’ve handled recently involved a Minnetonka home Seller (I represented the Buyer) who clearly was unacquainted with “the first law of holes.”

Namely, “when you find yourself in one . . . stop digging!”

Inspection Issues

So, while the 1950’s rambler was in overall good condition and basically inspected fine, the report did flag a pattern of, shall we say, “amateurish” (albeit minor) plumbing and electrical repairs — clearly done by none other than the Seller himself.

When my client relayed their concerns (along with supporting documentation) to the Seller, what do you suppose their response was?

“No problem, I’ll fix it!”

Umm, no thanks (at least, that’s what I told the listing agent representing the Seller; I believe my client’s actual response was an emphatic “N-O-O-O!!!”).

After contractually stipulating that the repairs were to be done by a licensed electrician and plumber, respectively — with documentation of same to be provided to the Buyer — the Buyer agreed to remove their Inspection Contingency, and the deal progressed to a smooth closing.

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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