Merc News Market Wise Q&A: Is It Smart to let Buyer's Inspector Check Foundation of an "As-Is" Property?

Pat Kapowich for the San Jose Mercury News Q: We are selling our house and the buyer's home inspector is recommending further inspection of the sub-area by an appropriate professional. We don't feel this is warranted, as our pre-sale inspection noted basically the same observations and comments. Should we grant an extension to the buyer for the inspection of the foundation of a 48-year-old house in the suburbs? It's an as-is sale.


A: Location, location, location? Consumers especially sellers, should follow this rule: Disclose. Inspect. Disclose. Buyers file the majority of lawsuits, many of which are often referred to as Bad House Cases. What sellers feel e.g., basically the same observation is moot. Until buyers are completely satisfied inspecting a home (often to the dismay of the agents involved), a seller should not sell them their house.

Foundations are the most neglected area of residential sales. Sub-areas should be inspected and maintained every seven years. This is news to the real estate community and consumers alike. But consider: downspouts and sprinklers annually dump gallons of water against the house. Insist on a foundation inspection report, plus an estimated cost of renovations that shall be delivered to all parties. Only then let the buyer proceed with the sale, or, conversely, let the buyer cancel the transaction. Either way, you'll greatly reduce the likelihood of interviewing real estate attorneys

Market Wise Column Saturday, July 18, 2008

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