What are things beside cc and termite reports you are asking for your clients when purchasing a home?

Asked by Robin Holliday, Virginia Beach, VA Mon Apr 21, 2008

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Anja Howard, , Virginia Beach, VA
Sat Jul 26, 2008
Along with the home inspection contingency, warranty and the usual disclosures for acuiz levels and lead, I would also ask about the funding. Not all homes are approved for all types of loans. For instance, one of the clients I am working with right now is Va eligible. Which is great! But it will only be great for him if that condo he has fallen in love with is Va approved. Asking these questions first will take out the disappointment factor later. If you have a lender that you typically work with they should be able to help you in this area but also the listing agent should always have this type of information as well. Personally, I like to go online and research this information for my buyers also. There are many sites you can access that will give you accurate reports on funding within each association. Always make sure to get all current association fees and assessments when viewing properties, too. The more you know ahead of time the better!
Anja Howard
GSH Oceanfront Office
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Drew Hitt, , Virginia Beach, VA
Mon Jul 14, 2008
Should buyers be buying if they can't afford a down payment? Isn't that how we got into a lot of this current mess now? If they can't afford a down payment, they probably can't afford the home. Fiduciary responsiblity to should be exercised to make sure affordibility exists. Not everyone should buy a home when they want to, only after they show financial comprehension.

From what I understand in Virginia they want to get rid of a lot of these gift downpayment programs for that exact reason. I'd love to see the stats on who defaulted that used one of these programs.
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Dan Zarate, , Chesapeake, VA
Mon Jul 14, 2008
As a buyer's agent, when I know that my client don't have money to put in as down payment, I request from the seller and include this under settlement expenses requesting the sellers to participate in the Ameridream, Nemiah or Genesis Charitable Program, to cover the buyer's downpayment of 3%, plus cover all the closing cost assistance, plus the seller will cover the cost of application fee for any of these programs.
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Ben Mills, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Thu Jul 10, 2008
As a rule, I tell my clients to limit the number of separate categories they ask for. What I mean is, if you are looking to get a lower price and closing costs then stick to that. Have your agent tell the seller's agent, "I know we did not give your seller the price they wanted but we are not asking for the moon and the stars." I find when agents give me a list of things which are not offered by the seller such as a lower price, all closing cost, carpet allowance, washer, dryer, riding lawn mower, their mother's sewing machine, and the curtains that were made out of the seller's wedding dress (don't laugh this one's true), the seller becomes overwhelmed and more often than not, the seller instructs the agent to tell the buyer's agent where the buyer can go. If the client asks me my opinion is and the house is a good fit, my question is, "Do you really want his house?" If they do, they usually are more realistic and if not they tell me, "If I can get it at this price."
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The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Mon Jul 7, 2008
I had a buyer ask for the sellers cat! I was even more mortified when the seller agreed!
Web Reference:  http://www.cindihagley.com
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Drew Hitt, , Virginia Beach, VA
Mon Jul 7, 2008
Anything you can get away with... Just keep it within reason. Look for reasons for motivation before you get too creative in what you ask for.

I deal on the creative side as an investor. Sometimes I ask for the seller to take back a second mortgage, owner finance the property for me, let me take over their loan, 10 - $50,000 off the price they want. It just all depends on the situation on whether they accept it or not. But of course it's not a home I'd live in so if they say no, I just move on to the next property, it's got to make sense for me. So I can get a bit more bold in my requests.
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Rebecca Keen…, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Wed Jul 2, 2008
It would depend on the condition of the home, motivation of the Seller, time on market and if there are any price reductions and of course, the needs of my Buyer(s). Every transaction may be different. Of course, in any offer it is important to do the math as you have to ensure that the Seller net's what he needs to cover commission and his payoff with at least a moderate amount of equity. No Seller should have to take out a loan to sell their home.

Depending on the above factors, I might ask for Settlement expenses & Prepaids to be paid up to a cap of 3% or 3.5% depending on the good faith estimate provided by the Buyer's Lender and other calculations. I may ask for a One Year Home Warranty activated on the date of Settlement, HVAC Serviced if not done within a year (You can ask for this at the Home Inspection - but I prefer not to have to negotiate that later and just ask upfront - you will find Seller's are more willing to negotiate up front than later), popular FHA Down Payment assistance program's such as the Ameri-Dream or Nehemiah Program (Ensure you know how to word this in the contract), home inspections and other applicable inspections and possibly condo fees x ? mos. Another thing is I do is look at things like windows and doors that may be damaged and ask for those to be replaced under property condition, and adequate insulation in the attic (ex. R22 - always check the attic!). Many homes are sold with windows that have broken seals and are fogged. This can be negotiated in the home inspection, but does not have to be granted unless the appraiser writes it in the report and the lender refuses the loan unless they are replaced or repaired. So, I just check it in advance.

I think it is great that you are asking these questions. Find yourself a savvy Realtor that you can go to when needed. Also, very important rule when listing condos, document in the MLS the tenant to owner occupany ratio, and when representing a Buyer for a condo, be sure to get that information prior to writing an offer if you can and definitely before ratifying an offer. Find out what the Lender's stipulations are and make it a contigency. It will save you time and added expenses.

You can email me anytime for additional questions.

All the best, Rebecca
Web Reference:  http://www.rebeccakeeney.com
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, ,
Tue Apr 22, 2008
In Ohio we ask for a termite (wood boring insects) inspection, septic and well inspection (where applicable), radon inspection and home inspection for safety issues.
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Chris Faircl…, , Virginia Beach, VA
Tue Apr 22, 2008
I agree more Sellers are participating in the downpayment assistance. Also some of my sellers have considered taking a 2nd for cash strapped buyers. Another item is association fees for a year or two.
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Tina Merritt, Agent, Blacksburg, VA
Mon Apr 21, 2008
I'm seeing more and more agents asking the seller to participate in the FHA downpayment programs (such as Ameridream). Now that the FHA loan limit has been increased - that can be a huge amount of $$$.

Tina in Virginia
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Frank Bigans…, Agent, Newport News, VA
Mon Apr 21, 2008
The answer to your question depends on the price range, condition or property, motivation of the seller, and situation of my client.

I recently submitted an offer for a client on a decent townhome in VB for $171,000, and asked for $3,000 in seller concessions with a home inspection. The seller is also installing a new roof, and new windows were also recently installed. Got that offer accepted without much problem.

However, up on the peninsula in Hampton, and against my advice, I had another client ask for $4,500 in seller concessions on a $145,000 condo in great shape - and they lost it to another buyer asking for just $1,500 in concessions.

In our local market, what we can ask for on behalf of our client depends on a lot, as each property is so uniquely different. I work with a lot of condos and townhomes priced below $225,000, so that market is entirely different than a SFR in the $300,000 price range.

Frank Biganski, Realtor ABR
Web Reference:  http://www.mrtownhome.net
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Mark A. Moore, Other Pro, Virginia Beach, VA
Mon Apr 21, 2008

Are you asking about items that a buyer is requesting the seller to pay for? If so, some buyers might want a home warranty.

Web Reference:  http://markamoore.com
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Danilo Bogda…, Agent, Reston, VA
Mon Apr 21, 2008
A home inspection and the usual financing and appraisal contingency. Others depend on my clients specific situation and what protects their best interests.
Web Reference:  http://www.LoudounStats.com
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