Hi, We made an offer for a home and got back a counter offer w/ the following conditions: 1. Seller's

Asked by Vg, Alameda County, CA Mon Oct 22, 2007

termite report will have precedence.
2. Natural Hazard report prepared by JCP.

We live in Alameda County, CA. Wondering if these are normal conditions or do they indicate a red flag.
Thanks much in response. I need to counter offer soon. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.


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Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Tue Oct 23, 2007
You as the buyer can still do your own inspections. If these inspection reports reveal information of concern, you can still present the option to the seller to either fix or your will terminate the contract.

Your risk and exposure will be the cost of the inspections. Make sure your contract clearly defines your rights to cancel the contract with inspections contignecies.

Although the seller is stating this in the counter, the same seller may view things differently if a report indicates a problem. If you like the property, you can proceed and if your own reports from your choice inpsectors provide an all clear, it becomes a moot point.

Do make sure that your contract clearly defines your rights to cancel under the inspeciton contigencies.
2 votes
Ruthless, , 60558
Tue Oct 23, 2007
Does your contract have an attorney review provision? (Maybe not since you say CA.) It may just be an innocent mistake of wording or it may be a red flag. Your negotiations could sour quickly if you make a mountain out of a mole hill. I would try to gloss over it for now but make sure you have an out. You could negotiate several thousands of dollars off the sales price if you are not focusing on a few bucks out of your pocket for paying for your own termite inspection. Keep in mind, if the seller knows of a termite or Natural Hazard problem, he has to disclose that. Did this home have a contract that previously feel through? Maybe he is just trying not to pay twice? But if it did, why did the first one fall through?

Good luck and keep us posted.
1 vote
Richard M. J…, , Sherman Oaks, CA
Tue Oct 23, 2007
Hi Vg, why would the termite report have precedence? Is the termite guy a friend of the seller? In Los Angeles County, the seller hires the termite guy but the way its written, that would concern me. Nonetheless, why don't you hire a termite person for a second opinion. It will be well worth the expense.
1 vote
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Newcastle, CA
Mon Oct 22, 2007
Hello Vg. I would say that the condition regarding the NHD is not unusual since the seller has to pay for it. I am not sure about the condition regarding the precedence of the sellers termite report. I understand that huge discrepancies in termite reports are unfortunately common, but I personally would not necessarily want to agree that the seller's own termite report should have precedence. I am wondering if you have seen this termite report that the seller wants to push on you. How long ago was it prepared? Termite reports are really only good the day they are written. A termite clearance, on the other hand is usually good for a full year and the termite inspector is on the hook for that period of time. So in my humble opinion, I'd ask more questions about this termite report. What does your agent have to say about this?
Web Reference:  http://www.theMLShub.com
1 vote
Infinity Rea…, , Saratoga, CA
Mon Oct 22, 2007
These are pretty normal conditions, but when someone makes a point to take there termite report you need to ask why. All termite companies are usually more time than not unbiased but you can never be to sure. So if you feel there are potential section 1 problems that did not show up. Pay for your own, and not accept there report. If there are no problems with the house, they should have nothing to hide and say ok.
1 vote
#1, , San Francisco Bay Area
Mon Oct 22, 2007
Are you Vince Glorioso?

Yes... they are normal conditions.

You don't have to agree to any of the conditions.

Too many homes to choose from.

Just say "NEXT" if you are uncomfortable with what is presented to you.

You are in the drivers seat. Not the Seller and certainly not the listing agent.
1 vote
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Thu Oct 25, 2007
Hi Vg:

Most of people do order JCP report, so that's fine. They have the tax info also a clue report (about the insurance claims on the house); both are informative and do not cost much.

Seller's Termite Report will have precedence is not normal. Sellers have to provide any and all report they have that might affect the value of the house, terminte report being one However, requiring you to have theirs are precedence is odd.

Either way, do your own inspection - I like to do independent inspection and better yet, be there when the do the inspection to learn first hand of any potential problem - then check it against seller's inspection report.

You can still negotiate but you two don't have to agree. Then it will depend on how severe the problems are, how big difference you two are before you decide if you will stay with the property or find a new one.

0 votes
Andy Kaufman, Agent, Berkeley, CA
Thu Oct 25, 2007
I think Deborah pretty much hit the nail on the head with her answer.

A JCP Natural Hazard report is fine. They actually have a great property tax breakdown that clients tend to like a lot.
Web Reference:  http://myeastbayagent.com
0 votes
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