Getting Away With It

There’s stuff going on with sellers right now that simply boggles my mind. Seriously. It seems like quite often in this insane marketplace we’re in the seller can overcome just about any mistake. It makes me crazy because I have this deeply ingrained sense of right and wrong and what’s fair or just and I’m seeing lots of blurring of those lines lately.

One of the things that bugs me is cheap skate sellers and moronic agents who haven’t done inspections leading up to a multiple offer environment. I know there’s no such thing as hard and fast rules in this game, but it just seems fair and reasonable for the seller to have them done prior to listing the house. All prospective buyers want to know what faces them if they’re going to write an offer…particularly when that offer is going to be WAY over the sellers asking price. Almost all listings now have inspections done up front, if for no other reason than to limit the sellers liability. Never the less I’m seeing listings without them.

What that does is place the burden on the buyer to pay for them either up front or place a contingency in their offer to do them in escrow. Last week I had this scenario on a house in South San Francisco my client wrote an offer on. We inspected before we wrote the offer because we wanted to make sure. There were 21 offers on this house. The top 4 had no contingencies of any kind. We finished second. Fortunately our inspection was done through a contractor friend of my buyer at no expense. It’s not uncommon to take this risk and pay $500 for this inspection…and not get the place. The pressure is all over the buyer in multiple offer scenarios. With 21 offers you need to be non contingent. Like I said…the seller gets away with it here.

I saw an even worse one last week. A short sale in Sunnybrae listed for $399,000, a price guaranteed to create a feeding frenzy had this written in the agent notes:

“Do not knock on Door, make offer subject to inspection  ..If your Offer is accepted will send you copies of reports in regards to Mold , Roof , other problems on the house”

Well that about takes the cake, doesn’t it? Go ahead and make your offer without seeing the place and after your offer is accepted we’ll tell you all about the multiple problems the house has including mold. There’s a word that came into my mind when I saw this listing….lawsuit. OK, you’re expected to buy this house sight unseen and only after you’ve bought it will you find out anything about its multiple problems? At $399,000 there would be 30 offers on this listing and somebody will feel enough pressure to take it non contingent. I’m telling you folks, real estate is an amazing thing…and sometimes a frightening one.

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