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Inspections Are Just Another Round of Negotiations

Sellers and buyers need to be educated about the inspection process as it can sometimes make or break a transaction.

Our contract here in Arizona gives the buyer a ten day period, after acceptance, to perform any and all inspections and then relay to the seller, in writing, the list of requested repairs. It sounds pretty straight forward…right?

Well…here are a couple of examples of potential pitfalls:

1. If you are a buyer it is probably NOT a great idea to make your requests too quickly. I know. The impulse is to get this part over with as hastily as possible…but there is a reason I typically do not rush this process. The reason is this…there maybe something that comes to mind AFTER the buyer requests have already been made and the buyer has ONE SOLE OPPORTUNITY to make requests. They can not, per our contract, make requests and then come back a couple of days later and make further requests.

For example, I had an out of town client a few years back who was insistent on moving forward with asking the seller for repairs…which we did. AFTER the seller had agreed to make the repairs it occurred to the buyer that he had not made a visit to the school his kids would be attending. Turns out his oldest son was a champion on the wrestling  team in their prior school. This school did not offer a wrestling program. He then investigated other Valley schools and found that some schools did offer a wrestling program. He wanted to cancel the contract and look for homes in those school districts. We did that. But he lost his $2500 earnest deposit.

2. Looking at it from the sellers perspective I try to let the sellers know what to expect…and ask them to please NOT be present at the inspection. It can be very personal. Especially if the seller has lived there for years and raised their family in the home. It is hard to hear about the problems. It is also hard to make the effort to repair or replace things that the seller had been living with for years! Sometimes the sellers think the buyers requests are unreasonable. AND sometimes they ARE…but I do my best to help the seller determine what is a safety issues…or what is not working that should be…and agree to take care of those items. Sellers need to understand that if they do not make an effort to get past the phase of negotiation it is quite possible the buyers will just go away.

Finally…it is a blessing when BOTH agents are educated and understand the process. If one of the agents get an “attitude” it can cause the entire transaction to blow up. Thankfully, I have only had this happen once in my entire career…but you can bet I do not rush to show that agents listings!

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