Home Buying in Seattle>Question Details

Steve McDona…, Real Estate Pro in Seattle, WA

Client's strong offer includes inspection. You learn that another offer waives inspection but lacks in $$$. Do you aprise your buyer or wait it out?

Asked by Steve McDonald, Seattle, WA Mon Jun 24, 2013

Home had systems updates without permit process as disclosed in Seller's Disclosure and apparent by visual inspection.

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you have an obligation to keep your client informed. you can advise them for or against. they make the decision.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 25, 2013
Thanks for your responses. Sometimes I feel like I'm churning a buyer's emotions when I go back with an update that challenges their position. I hate to add more drama to the situation but feel like it's a buyer's perogative to change their mind. I always tell my clients I cannot advise them to waive an inspection but I do let them know it's an option. In the end, the seller took the no inspection offer with less money. The interesting element is we brought their offer up due to escalation clauses and the buyer was out-of-the country and unavailable for finalizing things. Interesting risk to take. Won't be entirely surprised if we get a call later this week. Stranger things have happened.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 25, 2013
If the seller disclosed no permits, and you pointed this out to your client, it's good - your client can make his own decision using all info available. Re. no inspection clause - I'd tell my client everything,
so he has the opportunity to decide what to do next. If you don't tell him, and the deal dies because of
the inspection clause or lack of it (the other party could improve their offer $$$-wise in the mean time) - your client's chance to buy could be lost.

We are here to help our clients buy - so yes, I say tell your buyer.

Best of luck,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 3, 2013
I don't use buyer agency agreements much, but the one I do use has a lot of flexibility. It even allows the client the choice of knowing or not knowing the SOC. I put that in because once I had a client deciding between two houses and I think they were affected by knowing that one seller was offering me a lower commission. They knew me, didn't know the seller, and didn't like that I would get paid less on one house. So the idea was to give buyers the choice of not knowing so that they wouldn't be affected by things that really shouldn't impact their purchase decision.

I wonder if this is an area where clients maybe should decide in advance whether or not they want to be informed of competing offers. I could see where some clients would want to know and others not want to know.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 26, 2013

I would never advise a client to purchase a house without an inspection (as opposed to advising them of the risks of buying without an inspection). We've only had one client not perform an inspection (against our advice) and the lender ended up requiring an inspection because the house was older (pre-1950). That gave me some comfort because although they didn't have the same rights as Form 35, it did give them some protection against buying a severely defective property.

I'm not sure in what situations banks do require inspections if one is not called for in the P&S agreement, but that might be worth finding out in your situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 25, 2013

How are you, long time no see. Always advise buyers and let them decide with your advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 24, 2013
Yes, you apprise your buyer of what you are being told. It's their purchase and their decision. Is what the other agent credible, do they have a good reputation? Did you discuss what the seller's felt would be more desirable?
You have several ways to go, but our job is not to decide for the buyer, but inform and advise them of the options and the consequences you suspect may come with each choice.
Waiving and inspection is a very tough thing. If they feel that's an option they want to seriously consider, you could waive it, but conduct one anyway. Do a very short timeframe inspection, tell the sellers you won't ask for any work.. but want to know what you are getting into, or just do a 5 to 7 day inspection timeframe and hope the dollars outweigh the seller's fears of what the inspector will find.
Just let your buyer's make that decision.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 24, 2013
I should add that I am assuming there is no time to do a pre-offer inspection. If there is, I highly recommend it. That way your buyer can make their offer with no inspection contingency.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 24, 2013
Have you considered an inspection for informational purposes only? That is, your client stipulates, up-front, that they will not ask for repairs, but they retain the right to cancel the sale . Most sellers don't want to hoodwink a buyer, and this is a good middle ground. And, if the sellers non-permit repairs are serious code violation, then the buyer may not want to inherit the seller's problems and can still walk away. With this strategy, you've protected your buyer from paying top-dollar AND no way to back out if there are serious/costly structural or safety issues. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 24, 2013
If your client's offer is significantly more money than the other offer with no inspection it is possible that it can trump "no inspection". I also agree with keeping the inspection very short.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 24, 2013
I would do a 3 day inspection to offset the other offers lack of one.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 24, 2013
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