A word from Melissa Cescon:
Ah...the Spring Market is definitely upon us as we see with a new crop of homes coming up each week – From what I have been dealing with in this last short while, the great ones inevitably sell immediately and not too surprising, a good number of them with multiple offers, especially in the $400,000 to $550,000 price range. The others, either because of their list price or condition of home, play out their time on the market and in due course, eventually do sell as well. With all of this activity comes the all important “Home Inspection” and to highlight its importance, I want to start with my concluding statement first:
During your initial viewings and especially during inspection, Buyers need to take responsibility and check for minor defects in a home, as they risk not having any recourse if they find out about the defect later. Working with an Agent or Broker who is thorough and protects the interests of the Buyer is paramount here, as he or she will ensure that appropriate clauses in your Agreement of Purchase and Sale will address and negotiate the issues that require remedy by the Seller.
This brings me to the subject of “obvious” defects or what we call in the real estate world, “patent” defects. In general, a Seller has no obligation to disclose defects that are visible or obvious to a Buyer, however, they also cannot conceal them from a Buyer. This isn’t always easy to figure out, even in a court of law. If a Seller states that they had no idea that there was a crack in the granite counter top under the coffee maker and that the Buyer had plenty of opportunity to conduct his own due diligence and thoroughly check out the condition of the counter top, then a judge may not rule in the favour of the Buyer. My Rule of Thumb – check everything! This includes lifting area rugs to verify the condition of the flooring or tiles, testing the functionality of all windows including the cranks, looking behind pictures to see if something is being covered up, checking counter surfaces thoroughly for cracks or damage – to name a few. Don’t be worried about “disturbing” the coffee maker or rug, as it is far more disturbing if you discover you have no recourse after the deal is done.
If you’re thinking about preparing your home for an upcoming sale, or are looking to buy your next home and want to avoid the pitfalls, I invite you to call me and let’s chat about it!
Yours in Real Estate,