I just read the most disturbing article on MSN which is clearly sponsored by a website designed to cut out the use of real estate agents. I’m going to further explain / debunk the non-sense in this article.
It’s titled “9 Red Flags to watch out for when buying a new home”. Read the original article HERE.
1. Listing phrases like “needs TLC” or “sold as is” or “fixer upper”. The article advises the buyer to run for the hills when they read descriptors like this. The truth is, your realtor will help guide and educate you as the buyer to decide what is actually a deal breaker depending on what you, the buyer, are looking for. If you are looking for a fixer upper, why in the world would you run for the hills if you read that description? In my opinion, if a buyer is looking for a great buy and wants to put their own personal touch into the home, those are the EXACT phrases I would be looking for. Personally, for my own purchases, I prefer a fixer upper. My husband wants something move-in ready as the thought of remodeling another kitchen sends his blood pressure through the roof. It’s all a matter of preference and what you, the buyer, are willing to pay for.
2-7. Items 2-7 refer to the condition of the property: foundation, presence of mold, evidence of pests, light switches not functioning, and windows that jam. All of these things and more are issues to be examined by an inspector. As a buyer, it is not only your right, but responsibility to have the property inspected by a licensed inspector. Which brings me to item 8…
8. The property “fails” inspection. This doesn’t make sense to me. A property doesn’t “pass” or “fail” an inspection like a vehicle. The job of the inspector is to examine and report the condition of the property based on current building codes and standards. For example, when inspecting the electrical panel of a home built in 1950, the inspector will make note that the panel is not “up to code”. Of course it isn’t. The technology available today wasn’t available in 1950. Does that mean the house will burn down the day after closing? Chances are, the answer is no. As a potential buyer, however, you may (in fact, a good agent will advise you to do so) consult a professional electrician and consider upgrading the electrical system of the home in the interest of safety and efficiency. Is this a deal breaker? For some buyers, yes, because that can be an expensive project. For others, no. Inevitably, with any property, there will be issues that come up on an inspection report that, to a first time buyer, might sound more or less severe than they actually are. How do you know what’s what? Let’s move to Item 9…
9. The article insists that the buyer is wasting their money when they work with a real estate agent. Instead they suggest you handle the transaction online. ONLINE! Have you ever ordered something online only to be disappointed with the item arrived at your doorstep and it wasn’t what you were expecting? Of course you have! If we still have to cross our fingers and hope for the best when we order a pair of jeans online, why in the world would anyone trust something as major as a home purchase to a website who has no idea who you are or that you have an aversion to mid-century ranch style houses?
A real estate agent is there to help the buyer weigh every option and answer every question the buyer has along the way. Further, at least in the great state of Texas, buyer’s agents provide this service FOR FREE. In Texas, it is more common than not for the seller to pay the commissions of both the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. Real estate agents are licensed and regulated to protect the consumers. We love our clients and want them to love us. So, it is truly not in our best interest to sell a home to someone that we think will overwhelm our clients financially or otherwise. We are legally and ethically bound to give the best advice we can. My father, a long time attorney and now a judge, always said, “A man that represents himself has a fool for a client”. I think the same is true for a major purchase and acquisition such as a home. Hire a real estate professional when you’re setting out to buy a home. We know what the real red flags are.