Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Its the Little Things When Selling Real Estate

Hi Everyone,
I know I have a post today for Day 9 of the 30 Day Action Plan but I wanted to relay just some of the things that go on around here.  We laugh about it after but it does create stress in your day.  Lessons learned: Use an established, licensed contractor and get a property inspection.

Our program that is the most successful is buying properties (Foreclosure or distressed sellers), rehabbing the property and reselling them to buyers with owner financing.  We did that for a property that we recently sold.  It was a Bank Owed home that needed a lot of work.  So much work that we gutted the interior of the house.  We figured that since we were replacing everything that we would not need a property inspection because everything is all new.  Well that was wrong.  We sold the property and everything was great, for the first month and when it was sunny.  The troubled started in December and that is when things turned sour, the roof leaked!!  This was a brand new roof it should not leak.  The first call was before Christmas, not the best time to get someone out to look at the problem.  I would love to go back to the contractor and tell him to fix it but he closed up his business and is gone.  So we have to bear this cost for our buyer's sake.  Well when the sun came out a few days later we found the problem; the roof was a tar and gravel roof and someone put a boot print on the roof when it was hot and left a bare spot on the roof that water just loved.  If only I could use CSI to identify the person who did it like they do on TV.  A property inspection would have noted that in the report prior to the sale and most importantly while the contractor was still in business and desperately seeking more work from us.

Also we had the house rewired - I should say that someone convinced us to rewire the house.  That someone being the thieves that came in during the remodel and removed all the copper wiring, how nice of them.  We had the contractor rewire the house, and as the contractor told us when he presented his price, to bring it up to current code.  He failed to tell us that the wiring would overload the rating on the main service panel.  A normal house that is 1200 square feet will have a 100 amp main electrical panel and it will work fine.  Our house had a 60 amp panel.  So the additional outlets that are required by electrical code overloaded it.  Now of course this did not show up until the Christmas time when the homeowner had all the lights on at night and a small electric heater in one of the rooms.  All that load made the lights flicker.  So another late night call this time after Christmas.  Again a property inspection would have noted the 60 amp service and made a recommendation to upgrade to current standards. 

I am very fortunate to have a very dedicated staff led by my General Manager.  She works with all our buyers and sellers and makes the process very easy.  So when you buy that first property that you are going to resell do not skimp on the cost of a good property inspector.  They will be worth their weight in gold or cold hard cash as we learned.  They can establish a scope of work for your contractor for things that are not readily apparent, good luck.

See Ya,
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