Maybe it’s just the nature of a busy Denver real estate market. Or, maybe it’s that so many new, inexperienced agents are chasing the golden ring. Either way, in just the last few months, our clients have asked and persevered through each one of these questions.
Some of these clients’ questions are humorous but some are also some are painful. They are all real. Let me illustrate.
Do you think the other party is telling the truth?
Actually, the this question came up was two different transactions. In one instance, the seller was caught by listening to the sewer scope recorder completely contradicting her own words in the message sent to us later that day. In the second case, our seller was asking about a potential buyer’s ability to qualify for a loan on her property. We got the appropriate reassurances from the lender. Turns out, that three weeks later the loan officer was caught red handed trying to change to a different lender to qualify what turned out to be a marginal buyer. Trust is a valuable commodity in any real estate transaction!
Why is the roofing bid pre-dated?
The Seller’s Property Disclosure never mentioned a roofing bid or roofing problems. But, when we asked for a roofing evaluation, a bid came back that was done before the disclosure.
This one was borderline fraud. We had a Sellers Property Disclosure in hand. It clearly stated the seller had no knowledge of the roof’s condition. When our inspector’s results came back telling us about the roof problems, the seller produced a bid for the roof that was dated prior to the date on the disclosure. Hmmmm?
Why does the radon mitigation system have no test results?
This happens all the time, not just this year. Sellers will have a radon mitigation system in place, but they will have no records as to who, what, where or when a radon test was ever completed. Please, please, please, keep your records together and and in a safe place.
Why is the HOA withholding $3,000?
This one is an ongoing concern right now. We are moving toward our inspection deadline, and all of a sudden we get an email from the title company asking us to sign an escrow agreement withholding $3,000 from the seller to repaint and to stay in compliance with the HOA requirements. Then mysteriously, the listing broker comes up with a bid for painting the house. This could be another case of a “forgotten” disclosure?
Why haven’t we heard from the appraiser yet?
Well, if you’ve been paying attention to this busy Denver Real Estate Market, appraisers’ average age is somewhere north of 100 and they can’t keep up! We have been ordering appraisals immediately upon going under contract to keep pace with contract deadlines. Unfortunately, there are some buyers that are so frugal and some lenders that are so bad at schedule management, that appraisal are not completed in a timely manner. Sometimes real life is stranger than fiction! If necessary, we can ask for an extension for appraisal dates.
Why is the buyer changing lenders?
When this happens, and you are the seller, it’s time to look for a new buyer. This is a buyer that can’t qualify on the original program or needs a “different kind of lender”, if you know what I mean. Make sure that borrower has given the lender on the lender letter the funds for the credit check and the appraisal up front. You want an invested buyer in your transaction!
Why is there moisture in the crawl space?
This is another good question from our recent past. This house had an access to the back open deck. It had its gutters run through downspouts that went down and under the deck. Additionally, the gutters were full. I think you guess the rest but that’s what makes a crawl space damp! Sometimes just rerouting the surface water will solve the issue. Other times ventilation or a vapor barrier might be necessary. Be sure to ask your inspector!
Why are we using this title company?
With the revised contract, the buyer and seller are able to opening negotiate the title company to be employed. Do you want to have your most valuable asset transacted through a “mom and pop” operation where the listing broker has an affiliation, or would you like to have your transaction handled by the company with the largest market share, the most indemnification and an experienced escrow officer often with 20+ years in the business? There’s another consideration. Right after the last busy Denver real estate market in 2005, several Colorado title companies went broke. I don’t think anyone wants title insurance from a bankrupt title company.
Should listing agent disclose relationship to the seller?
Here’s another one that just happened to one of our clients. We were working through negotiations and all of a sudden the listing broker tells us, “This is my daughter’s house”. Without disclosing this material fact, the listing broker was in non-compliance with Colorado’s Real Estate Commission. That’s bad enough. But, would you believe that most of these Top 10 Questions were all from this one transaction?
I’m not here to question the integrity of my fellow Realtors. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our team likes to talk about “5 More Words”. Those five more words answer the question before it becomes a problem, and in the long run, isn’t that what we are paid to do? Whether it’s in a busy Denver real estate market or a normal one, solving the problem before it even becomes a problem is key or as The Great One, Wayne Gretsky, put it, “I just skate to where the puck is going to be”.
If you have a question for me, just use use this handy form. Ask away! I am Realtor who loves to answer questions.