Home Selling in Pennsylvania>Question Details

Jill, Home Buyer in

What are the chances of selling a home after relisting after inspection?

Asked by Jill, Sun Feb 10, 2008

We had a buyer put an offer on our home that was much lower than what we wanted to get. Our agent said to not let an offer pass us up, and to take it. We did, but I let our agent know that I would not negotiate with the buyer based on inspection. The agent chose not to listen to me on this one, and did not tell the buyers agent about this. The inspection report came back with several items on it (the house is close to 90 years old). The main item on their list was to replace some wiring that was original to the house. The home inspector never said that the wiring was in bad shape, dangerous, or a problem. Our agent said that either we give in to the buyers demands or when we relist it we won't be able to sell easily- due to the fact that we now must disclose every item on the buyers report. What should we do? Some of the items on the report do not appear accurate- they are issues that have been fixed by licensed contractors recently.

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Jill,
Just because you state that you will not do any repairs and...your agent conveys this information to the buyer's agent does not mean that they will not still ask for something to be done. If the Buyer's agent explains this to the buyer and, the buyer requests for items to be repaired or replaced, the buyer's agent must submit the request. Regardless of agent or seller comments. Dont hold this against your agent. It happens all of the time.

As for re-listing and reselling after inspection, if you know that there is an existing problem, you must disclose this to a buyer. If you have knowledge of an existing problem or, potential problem....disclose, disclose, disclose. This applies regardless of an inspection report or not. If an inspection report uncovers something that you were previously unaware of....you now have knowledge and must disclose this to a potential buyer at their request and from a contacted buyer during escrow regardless.

Repaired or not, you must disclose that a problem existed and that the problem was resolved by a licensed contractor or even if the issue was repaired yourself. When in doubt....disclose.

Will this hurt your chances of selling? Unless an issue exists that you were previously unaware of and that issue is severe.....probably not. If the issue was severe and was uncovered after close of escrow, that would not prohibit the buyer from taking action against you. On older homes, I do recommend that seller's hire a very good inspector prior to listing and then address any issues before they become a problem. And, always disclose this to the buyer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 10, 2008
You can always sell the home "as is." Common law does not require any disclosure of defects but PA's statutory law likely requires disclosure by seller's of any latent defects and this would be one of them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 29, 2008
It isn't really the inspector's job to be a "know it all." In this case, it sounds like he identified older wiring and probably recommended it for further evaluation or noted that there are some legitimate concerns with such wiring.

Many older homes (my own included) have "knob and tube" wiring intact and active and it is not inherently dangerous. The common concerns are:
1) The wiring may not be appropriately sized for modern uses (overheating may result)
2) It is not intended to be covered by insulation or other materials (it can be a fire hazard in this instance)
3) homeowner modifications (DIY wiring) can result in problems
4) It can be brittle and in poor condition
5) Many insurance companies will not write policies for homes with knob and tube, or can charge a ridiculous fee for it.

In the first instance, so long as the wiring is served by a 15 amp breaker and not brittle (no deterioration of the insulation) it is unlikely that overheating will result. If insulation or deteriorated wiring is present, replacement is recommended. The last issue requires lots of shopping insurance companies.

The wiring in my home is clearly visible in teh attic, in good condition, not insulated over and operating as intended to supply standard outlets and bedroom lighting. They are connected to 15 amp breakers and checking the operating temperatures with an infrared thermometer showed no difference between knob and tube wiring and romex (new style) wiring in the attic.

Electricans can see a $12K- $15K payday to replace the old wiring, so they often recommend replacement. The best thing to do is get a number of estimates on it, including at least on "old-timer" and have them explain their concerns and specifically why ther recommended replacemenet or why they do not. This will give you the best clue as to how to handle your wiring.

As for the resale - I think the first answer was the best: use it as a marketing tool!
Web Reference: http://www.SherlockHI.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 27, 2008
I have had an inspection similar to this. Get an electrician in the home to see if the wiring really needs to be replaced and if so what is the cost. 9 times out of 10, you won't need to replace it. The inspectors job is to show the buyers how great he is and how much he knows. He is not an electrician. Get professional advise before you make your decision. They may charge you a trip fee, but at least you will know your options - don't give up yet. Your agent needs to take a class on protecting your interest in the home - their tactic so far seems to be focused on their commission not your best interest.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 27, 2008
If the house is 90 years old and some of the wiring is original it is probably "knob and tube"and very outdated and dangerous,,you should want to have it done while you are living there for your own safty...Your local township may require it to be replaced for the Use and occpancy certificate..or the fire marshall may require an upgrade..or you could just realize that for peace of mind the home should not be transfered to another without this repair being completed...If the fire sirens are sounding in the middle of the night it sure would help to know that its not the house you just sold..
Web Reference: http://jbrealtyservice.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 23, 2008
Chances of you selling your home now are just as good as before. Although you will have to disclose material defects that appeared during the home inspection, you are now in the know... and so will any future buyers when they review your disclosure prior to submitting an offer. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 10, 2008
Jill,

Where there is one buyer, there is more. It sounds like your agent is trying to pressure into the repairs. Sometimes it is worth it to just do the repairs or offer the buyer credit to be done with it and move on to the settlement table. It depends on your situation. The way I look at is if it were my home and the buyer was not asking for too much I would probably agree to the concession, but if they are going overboard, putting it back on the market is not that big of deal as I believe where there is one buyer, there is another one. And yes, you can always update your sellers disclosure to reflect new info. Sometimes what may be a big issue to one buyer (old wiring) is no big deal to the next buyer - who may be an electrician or has a friend who is an electriciian. If I am aware of a defect that might come up again, I would recommend to have your own electrician come out for an estimate. That way if someone asks for it again, you already know how to respond to it ! Good luck : )
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 10, 2008
One big stress for buyers is the inspection. If I was you, I'd list it with an ad that highlights a recent inspection and just disclose what's on there in the appropriate areas. That may appeal to buyers who might otherwise pass the home up because of the age and fears about inspection findings.
Web Reference: http://www.ameliapearn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 10, 2008
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