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Was it a $40,000 or a $4,000 problem?

Several months ago I received a call from clients of mine who live in North York Toronto. They informed me, that that due to a change in lifestyle, they were considering selling their home. At the same time they said that a relative wanted to make an offer and buy it from them. It took them over 6 weeks of haggling to come up with terms that were acceptable to both parties. During that time I had counseled my sellers but had no contact with the buyers. They finally reached an agreement and had a building inspection. That's when things fell apart.

After the building inspection, the buyers came back and said that the roof was damaged and leaking and needed to be repaired or replaced for $12,000 and further that all the windows had condensation and had to be replaced at a cost of $40,000.

I was extremely surprised to hear this, as the home was only 8 years old.

I had asked the sellers to get a copy of the building inspection from the buyers, but they refused to make it available. So I suggested to the sellers that either, the building inspector had unnecessarily scared the buyers, or the buyers were just using the building inspection to renegotiate the price.

Role forward a few months and I listed and sold the home in 8 days at a substantially higher price than was negotiated between the sellers and their relatives.

However, the inspector for the new buyers came up with the same issues. Only this time I was able to intervene. The roof damage was exaggerated and in fact had nothing to do with the roof itself, but rather was an old problem with the bathroom ventilation that was improperly insulated and caused some staining on the interior of the roof visible in the attic. A $200 fix. The roof shingles were showing normal wear and should have a life expectancy of another five to six years.

Yes, many of the windows did have an abnormally high level of condensation between the seals. This is merely an aesthetic issue and does not have any bearing on the efficacy or affect the thermal capacity of the windows. I called my trusted window contractor who inspected all the window panes that the buyer wanted to have replaced. Total cost, just under $4,000. Both the Sellers and Buyers agreed to split the cost and everyone was happy. Well not quite... when the relatives heard the result they were devastated, as they had apparently really wanted to have this home.

The moral of the story, actually two...

You are always best to be represented by an experienced realtor whether buying or selling.

You should always work with an experienced home inspector, who will take the time to evaluate all the issues carefully and completely and report them to you in a manner that is helpful and factual.

Building inspections are vitally important when you are buying any home. Follow this to review an article on Building inspections, that I wrote some time ago and that has been published in several magazines.

To set up an appointment to discuss these or any other real estate issues Follow this

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