Kateclavijo, Home Buyer in Pasadena, CA

I am in escrow and have found out there are several problems. My realator is encouring me to close. I am starting to get nervous. Help?

Asked by Kateclavijo, Pasadena, CA Fri Aug 24, 2012

extensive termite damage, a possible water main leak, exposed asbestos in crushed AC vents, needs new AC and water heater. Advice? My realator is still encouraging me to close with 9,000 in repair costs. I understand termite damage will be taken care of by seller. I am getting nervous... Any advice? Are these clear red flags or should I proceed?

Help the community by answering this question:


First, if this is your first or second home you've ever purchased, then being nervous is typical. Basically, you don't know what you don't know and you're not sure who to trust. Now, I'm assuming you mean you're working with a Realtor (vs. realator). If so, that person would be a licensed real estate professional who has committed to operating at the highest level of ethics in the real estate industry. So, regardless of your personal opinion on the real estate profession, that's about the best you can do in your situation.

Second, these are not red flags. Red flags are signals of potential problems like seeing a messy front yard. These are actual problems with actual cost figures. Since you know how much it will cost to fix, then you should definitely close if the price is good. For a home in Santa Monica, $9K is a relatively trivial amount in this competitive market.

Your Realtor is very likely giving you good advice. The decision is ultimately up to you.
Web Reference: http://www.archershomes.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2012
Go with your gut. If a property needs lots of work, and the price reflects you going forward and you doing the work do so. However if the price in not market value, minus a credit for the worki needing to be done, think again.

Marsha Block
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2012
It is all depends on the price that you paying for this the property.

If you getting a great deal and saving more money than these repairs will cost you, than you can always fix everything later yourself ( in a way it is better, as you will be able to choose your own contractors and make sure they are doing a great job).

In case contract price is the same as other properties on the market in good shape with no repairs needed - that you may want to ask seller to credit you for repairs or consider other options.

Either way it is best to express your concerns to your realtor.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2012
Sorry to hear you are nervous. Check your contract to see who pays for termites, continue to talk with your Realtor about the other issues & express your concerns and consequences. Good luck!

Elizabeth Sorgen
Web Reference: http://www.SorgenIntl.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2012
It's hard for me to comment without having seen the property and knowing the details. The only reason in my view, barring some other unforeseen factors like you having a timeline to move, is if you are getting a deal that makes taking all that on a sensible choice.

The first question I would want answered is why is your agent pushing so hard? They should have a great and immediate answer for you. If they don't...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2012
Knowledge is power. Get some clear answers by hiring a plumbing expert and an HVAC expert and pay them the $200 or so to come out and give you a full picture of the repairs needed -- and an on-paper quote for the full cost of those repairs. Then take a look at the big picture. Is the house truly the one you want? Can you afford to absorb the cost of those repairs if the Seller refuses to pay for them? Do you know whether you're getting a great deal on the house -- what are the comps on this property? After you have all the info in front of you, decide whether the extent of the repairs and the cost to remedy them is worth it to you in order to get this house. And FYI, with our current low inventory of good properties, prices are getting pushed up. If you pass on this house, the next one you find may be $9,000 higher -- and no better! Your Realtorâ„¢ may already have a lot of this figured out so have a fact-based discussion with him or her. But get your knowledge in place, take a couple breaths, then make a calm decision!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2012
I guess that depends on the deal you are getting on the house considering the repairs needed. Inventory in Passdena is low and things are selling like hot cakes.
With that being said you still need to feel comfortable with your purchase. Don't let anyone pressure.
The only way I would be pressuring you as your agent is if I knew you were buying the house as a smoking deal considering the repairs that need to be done. Otherwise I would say back out. I rather loose a deal than a client.
Web Reference: http://www.LauraCoffey.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2012
Hi Kate,

First, check your purchase agreement to see how much time after your inspection that is allowed for you to back out of the agreement without penalty. There should be verbage that addresses this. Secondly, as other have recommended, requesting for repairs to the seller should help you understand where you stand.

You are correct in questioning the direction this is going but be sure that you understand exactly what needs to be done and what the numbers are that are associated with these repairs. It sounds like there may be some uncertainty. Pulling numbers out of the sky won't work.....getting involved with contractors that can deal with the specifics and document this for you will be huge.

Best wishes,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2012
good morning kate,

getting nervous is totally understandable and happens all the time. i'm not certain of the age of the home but assuming 30+ years and will have issues. . . . every home does. these are not red flags in my opinion just issues to be addressed. its not clear to me whether or not you've had certain inspections related to those specific issues or just a general inspection that discovered them but if you haven't had specialists for each related issue i would highly advise it. this is your time to do your due diligence and learn all you can about the property. i would get quotes for anything that needs repair and request whats realistic from the seller in order for you to feel good about the purchase and move forward. depending on the sellers reponse to your request you would then have to decide if what you are paying for the property along with the remaining repairs that the seller may not cover is worth it to you but thats not the bottom line in making your decision either. other points to consider are that in some area's its a sellers market due to low inventories so the competition can be tough; if you have a great mortgage rate compared to where it may be now; location of the property, comps for like properties because the offering price may have already been adjusted due to the condition; but these are all things that you should be speaking with your realtor about so that you are informed and feel good about the purchase no matter what issues come up and then whether or not to proceed should be an easier decision for you.

i wish you the best and hope that you enjoy your new property whether it be this one or another.

warm regards,
robbie sikora
Gibson International
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2012
Have your broker do a Request For Repairs, asking the seller to cover all of the repair costs.

Craig Rogers
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2012
Firstly, only you can make the decision as to whether you should continue with the purchase of this property. It sounds like you have had the inspections and been given a quote. If you love the property and can afford it, $9,000 does not sound like a lot of money for all those repairs, and inventory is low right now. The chances of finding a home that needs no repairs is low. Have you submitted a Request for Repairs to the seller? That should be your next step even in an "as is" sale. After you get your answer, then you can decide whether you want to proceed. But don't let yourself be pressured into doing something you are not comfortable with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2012
Hi kateclavijo,

Have you had a general physicsl indpection of the property? I would recommend that you extend your investigation period and hire a plumber and hvac specialist to give you an estimate to correct the issues you are facing. If the repairs you are limited to the items you are speaking of and you really like the other aspects of the house then negotiate the best credit you can and make the repairs. On the other hand if the property has further issues that effect the structural integrity or are cost prohibitive then you should consider other options for purchase.

Without seeing the whole pIcture it is difficult to be definitive about my recommendation.

Good luck!

Aaron Mirsky
Coldwell Banker, Brentwood
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2012
Well..... uummmm wow.. ok, well if you haven't already done so, I would say get a plumber to inspect the water line and water heater. An AC tech to check the ducts and the air conditioner. If you have already done this than it is your call.... your agent will not be living there you will and you have to make sure you are 100%and happy. Don't remove your contingencies unless you are satisfied you could lose your deposit.

Good luck.... I do know a contractor if you decide to go through with it.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2012
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