Real Problem in Real Estate

A friend of mine bought a house in early 2010. He moved last week due to a change in career. In between that, though, was an inspection mess that no one saw coming: the electrical fixtures in the house were not up to standard

Now, this happens all of the time. Most times, it’s agreed that the person selling the house is the one to take care of the financial end of inspection failures. And that’s what had supposedly happened when the house was sold to my friend.  The same electrical issues that had caused the house to not pass inspection before my friend bought it were the ones that came up when he went to sell the house less than a year later.

Luckily, my friend (we’ll name him Bill so I don’t have to keep saying ‘my friend’) knew what avenues to take in order to get things straightened out. He paid the $200 to fix all of the electrical problems, but went through the channels necessary in order to let the person who had sold the house that he’d been caught in his fraud.

I actually don’t know the outcome of this story, but here are a couple of things that we can learn from Bill’s story.

  • When closing on your house, make sure that you double check your contingencies. Contingencies are the parts of your contract that have to happen before the house can be closed on. Bill found out that the electrician that had supposedly fixed the issue had only given the seller an estimate, and not actually fixed it. They had no idea what happened after that. So make sure you check everything once again. You don’t necessarily have to get a another full out inspection, but just check over what you can.
  • Avoid dual agency when you can. Dual agency is when one agent (or once real estate agency) represents both the buyer and the seller. Sadly, even though there are laws to protect the buyer and the seller in states that allow dual agency (not all do), stuff like this could still fall between the cracks. Bill and the seller were with different agencies, and had they not been, this may have been more difficult to resolve.
  • Always expect the unexpected. Until October, Bill thought that he and his wife would raise their kids in that house. Then, he realized that it was time for a change in his life, and the house they’d bought about 6 months earlier was going to have to go back on the market. Luckily, they were able to find a buyer quickly, but what if they hadn’t? Paying on two homes is not ideal for anyone.
  • Be respectful. Bill ended up talking to a lot of different people to discover what had happened. He had to be careful, because there was always a possibility of invading privacy and breaking rules regarding confidentiality, but he was able to do what he had to without that. Bill was fine with paying the $200, but he just wanted the guy that had wronged him to know that he had.
  • Don’t cut corners. Thankfully, Bill is a guy with a lot of integrity, and got the electrical issues fixed. But the guy before got busted. So, don’t cut corners ever, even if you think you won’t get caught. The guy that sold the house to Bill did, and you probably will too.

Even though I don’t know the exact outcome of Bill’s story, you can change the end of your own by using this advice. Always be cautious; never be afraid to do too much, because in the end, it could result in a happy ending for everyone that’s involved.

  1. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  2. Real Problem in Real Estate | Money Walks | Real Estate Home - pingback on February 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm

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