When buyers go out to purchase a new property, they often have unrealistic expectations. If you are not buying a new property, you should expect that they inspection of the property is going to reveal some problems.
Much like any other piece of property, a house will develop certain characteristics as time passes. In some cases, it will age like fine wine. In other cases, however, the wine may turn out to be very bitter. So how do you know what you're getting? The answer lies in an inspection of the property.
Let's not kid ourselves. A person decides they want to sell their property, they are going to take all the necessary steps to make it look as good as possible before putting it on the market. Inevitably, this will include cleaning up the landscape, touching up paint and so on. There is nothing wrong with this. It is human nature, and the seller wants to get the most for their property that they can. As a buyer, however, you need to make sure that the corrective actions taken by the seller are not hiding some more serious problem. The answer, of course, is to have a property inspection.
Once the property inspection is completed, the inspector will prepare a written report of his or her findings. You should read this report very carefully. It is going to detail various problems with the property, problems that you need to deal with in negotiations with the seller. There are couple ways of doing this.
The first method for dealing with repairs to problems is to have the seller leave sufficient funds in an escrow account to cover the cost of repairs. The advantage of this approach is you get the property with sufficient money to make the repairs, you get to control the repairs and the seller gets to move on with their life. In fact, the solution is perhaps the most common is reached between sellers and buyers when a property has problems. The only downside to this approach is, of course, that you have to agree on the amount of money. The best methodology for doing this is to get multiple estimates from contractors in the area.
The second method for dealing with repairs is the repair credit. The situation is similar to the one above, except that the seller does not leave a certain amount of money for the repairs. Instead, the seller will actually reduce the price of the property by the estimated repair cost. As a buyer, you should be wary of taking this approach. Why? The problem lies in the fact that you are now responsible for coming up with the actual cash to pay for the repairs. For most buyers, this can be difficult given the fact that they have just spent a significant amount of money on a deposit to make the purchase. If you can swing it, and the solution can work, but you should be very careful.
Unless you are buying a new property, you need to come to grips with the fact that most properties on the market are going to have some problems. The question, of course, is how you deal with those problems.
Raynor James is with FSBO America - save money when selling and buying with homes for sale by owner .