Beware of the Deal!
This time of year, retailers are vying for your attention. They all want to lure you in with the hopes of some great deal that will go away if you don’t act fast. Sometimes buying real estate is the same way. Sellers, and agents alike, will lure you in with fancy photographs, shiny cosmetic updates and paid closing costs if you buy before the end of the month. What happens when you get to the property? I have seen three scenarios play out.
- The agent and Buyer arrive at the property and double check the photos on their printed sheet to make sure they are at the right house. The pictures really fooled them. They don’t recall seeing the power lines in the front yard and the rooms are a lot smaller than they appeared in the photos. The new kitchen looks nice but they discover you can’t fit a full-size dinner plate in the cabinets. The Buyer realizes the great deal they thought they were going to get really isn’t a deal after all and they choose to keep looking.
- The agent and Buyer arrive at the property and see the same things as the first scenario but they are still starry-eyed. They really need a house and this is such a great deal! They write up an offer that’s even lower than the “deal” of a list price, and to their surprise, the Sellers accept. Now they are really excited. They schedule the home inspection and, to their dismay, they are told that the new flooring is covering up the water damage on the subfloor and that there is mold growing throughout the main level. The roof that the Seller claimed was 4 years old was installed improperly and needs a complete overhaul and the HVAC isn’t even functioning. They come to grips with the fact that they have been had and the deal isn’t looking so good now. They terminate the contract, but not before spending precious time and money on a pig with lipstick.
- The last scenario is the worst that I’ve seen. Unfortunately, some Buyers have blinders on and don’t want to listen to the advice of their agent or inspectors. They think everything will be fine because it’s such a great deal. So, they ask the Seller to fix the major items the inspector found and the Seller agrees. Everyone is happy and they go to closing with big smiles. About a year later, after the home warranty has expired and not been renewed, the new owner is in distress. They hate their house and they want to move. The repairs that the previous owner did were just temporary fixes that have now reared their ugly head. There are leaks, more mold growth, and the fact that all the dinner plates are in the pantry has become a point of contention every evening. The new owner realizes they will have to fix or disclose any items they know about in order to sell. So much for the steal of a deal they got such a short time ago.
When we have buyer’s remorse from an online shopping deal, the stakes are reasonably low. When we jump too quickly and act on impulse when buying real estate, we could lose a lot more than a few bucks. Take the advice of the experts and remember the age-old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true,” most of the time it is!
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur baby, Tyler, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.