Archive for August, 2011

Why Would You Ask the Seller to Pay for the Well and Septic Inspection?

I was talking to a couple of agents at the office yesterday and one of them was complaining about our purchase agreement asking for the seller to pay for the well and septic inspection (if the house is on well and/or septic). He was saying that perfectly good offers were getting countered because of this one item.

He has a couple of options– he can cross out seller and hand write in buyer and have it initialed, or he can cross out the whole paragraph and the buyer can make it part of his general home inspection.

Another agent wanted to know why he would want that removed; after all he is working for the buyer and the seller should have to prove their well and septic worked properly and the water clean. Like supplying clean title.

I ask- As a buyer’s agent why would you put the seller in charge of ANY of your inspections?

septic tank and field inspection“Back in the day” many of the purchase agreements asked for septic inspections to be performed by the county. Oakland County used to send out a sanitarian, who would walk out to where he thought the septic field was, sniff the air, and approve the septic. That’s not really much of an exaggeration. The point is, there is no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes a well and septic inspection. And most purchase agreements that have pre-printed that the seller is to supply a satisfactory well and septic inspection don’t specify exactly what they want done and what constitutes satisfactory. Just a sniff test? A dye test? Open the tank and take core sample from the field?

And the water…. Who is collecting if the seller is having it done? What lab? Are the including arsenic and lead? Do you even care if the water is tested? Because no matter what the purchase agreement states, you REALLY are paying for that well and septic inspection. Sellers have a bottom line and any costs you ask them to cover will be factored into the sale price. So really you are still paying, but giving up the power to have any say in how those inspections are performed and who is performing them.

Sellers- If you get an offer asking you to pay for the well and septic inspection DO NOT COUNTER that condition. In the whole scheme of things, the couple hundred dollars a well and septic inspection costs is nothing. Let the buyer’s agent “save” them $200 or $300.  I’m not suggesting you would cheat and send distilled water to a lab, but if you hire a home inspector to collect the water and take it to the lab you have control. We don’t know the buyer’s inspector. We don’t know how long that water sample might roll around in his trunk. Also, if you’re paying, a dye test for the septic is sufficient. It’s what is required by FHA, but doesn’t tell you the condition of the field or tank. It just means it’s working.

I don’t know why brokers pre-print contingencies in their purchase agreements. Everything is negotiable. There are no standards, and old customs have been changing to reflect the high percentage of foreclosure and short sale listings. It’s presumptuous to assume in advance how ALL buyers want to negotiate their home purchase.

Highest and Best are not Synonyms

Buying an Oakland County MI Short Sale Listing- What to Expect

What Happens if the Appraisal is Low?

Why are the Seller and I BOTH Paying for Title Work/Insurance?

What is the Deposit For? How Much Should it be?

Is the Appraisal for Your Protection?

How to Calculate Your New Property Taxes

Jackie Hawley
ReMax Encore, Clarkston MI

Cell: (248)736-6407



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What a Buyer’s Agent DOES NOT Want to Hear From the Loan Officer

Of course the main sentence I never want to hear uttered is “your client’s loan has been denied,” but that is not the purpose of this post. The gist of this post is really about buck passing and taking responsibility for one’s own actions or inactions.

So in no particular order, here is a list of what I NEVER want to hear from the loan officer representing my buyer client.

  • On the day of or day before the closing – “We’re still waiting on his home owner’s insurance”
  • He hasn’t filed his tax returns
  • He dragged his feet getting me necessary documentation (tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, etc.)
  • The underwriter asked for bank statements from the buyer’s dad (mom, uncle, sister…) who he’s getting his gift funds from

I’m sure there are other excuses that have torqued me in the past, but this sample is sufficient. The point is, if you expect me to refer future clients to you, you need to do your job from the get go. When you pre-approve my buyer I want them truly pre-approved. You should have known after your consultation if the client hasn’t filed his tax returns.

You should know to document where gift funds come from before the file is ever in front of an underwriter.

You should have known the client will need homeowner’s insurance and not leave that request until the last minute.

And when dealing with MY clients you should never ever blame the client for delays. It is YOUR job to collect, in a timely fashion, whatever is necessary to complete the loan. Remember, I was able to get the client to you before ever writing an offer. In our current market of very low inventory, where multiple offers are not uncommon, I was able to get the buyer into the house before it was sold out from underneath us. I was able to make sure the buyer adhered to all the timelines in the purchase agreement- home inspections, mortgage application, collecting the EMD…

If I have no problems getting the client to perform in a timely manner, by the time you are working with him he is already trained to jump when I say frog. So to be quite honest, your problems with my client sound like weak excuses. To my ears it sounds like you are passing the buck to the client.

Remember, without clients we are out of work. What other job skills do you have?

A Tale of Two Taxes- How Property Taxes Affect Your Buying Power

Highest and Best are Not Synonyms

What Happens if the Appraisal is Low?

Is the Appraisal for Your Protection?

The Perfect House- Does it Exist?

What is the Deposit For? How Much Should it Be?

Lakefront Real Estate

Jackie Hawley
Keller Williams Realty, Clarkston MI

Cell: (248) 736-6407

Email: Jackie@JackieHawley.com

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