What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

"There Is No Point In Getting An Estimate. There Is No Problem."

"There is no point in getting an estimate," said the sellers.  "There is no problem."

One area that frequently has problems on an older home is the large window over a front door.  The double window, with one square and another rounded palladium window on top is the worst.

This is the window over our front door.

There is no problem with this installation, and it has been there for 15 years.

The problem I find most frequently is that the installation leaks. 

It leaks between the two different windows.
It leaks around the sides.
It leaks at the bottom.

IT LEAKS!

Here is a window that is leaking now, and has been for some time.

The house is vacant with the sellers already in their next state.

One problem I noticed right away was the trim outside rotting and moving out of place.

Getting inside the window was leaking on both sides, onto and around the front door trim, and was even wetting and swelling the hardwood flooring at the front door.

This is one of many photos of the window.

It had not rained for many days prior to this inspection.

And yet the flooring was still registering 18% moisture!

Circumstances like this require an evaluation of current moisture levels.  If there is residual moisture, especially when it has not rained lately, this is an ongoing problem!

Given the amount of damage it looked to me like it had been happening a for long time.  There were no curtain rod holes, so it probably wasn't covered up by curtains.  I think the sellers should have known it was happening.

The selling agent called the listing agent.  After this and another problem was explained she said she would call back.

My clients only wanted to get an estimate of what it would take to repair each situation.  That's when they were told:

"There is no point in getting an estimate," said the sellers.  "There is no problem."

They were denied the opportunity even to get an estimate! 

There was the other problem of a severely wobbly toilet, which had stained and cracked the ceramic floor tiles around it, leaked onto the floor during a flush and around the toilet the sub floor was spongy.

Again, the sellers gave the same answer and my clients were denied the opportunity even to get an estimate!

EVEN AFTER RECEIVING THE PHOTOS AND GOING TO THE HOUSE THE LISTING AGENT SAID THERE WERE NO PROBLEMS!

I'm not sure I understand that, but the deal evaporated at that point.

My recommendation:  if sellers, or a listing agent, have their heads in sand and are unreasonable about a common sense approach to a problem, it may be wise to move on!  The best business is open and transparent.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 45 commentsJay Markanich • July 23 2012 04:17AM

Comments

Saying there is not a problem does not make they go away.  Wishing them away won't work either. 

The sellers must be pro-active and fix the problems if they want to sell there home because buyers don't buy problems...

Posted by Richard Burge Realty/ Burge Homes, Broker in Charge/Owner (Richard Burge Realty/Burge Homes) almost 7 years ago

I have always thought it was part of the agents job to keep the deal together. By denying there are problems or stonewalling, they blow up the deal. Not a smart way to sell. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Yes, this is a ridiculous statement.  It's not good to do business with these types of people.  They sound a bit unreasonable and inflexible.  Their loss.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 7 years ago

Jay,

Of course there's no problem for the seller...they already moved.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 7 years ago

Hi Jay,

Gotta love the listing agent when they say there is not a problem with the home. They are not the ones doing the inspection. If there was not a problem with the home then it would not had been in the report as an issue. Correct?

Could you tell if a water shield was installed on the window frame when it (the window) was installed?

I always recommend a water shield be installed even if it's behind stucco, vinyl or a lap siding.I bet if you look at the manufacturers installation instructions you would find they also recommend a water shield for the window to prevent water intrusion.

Did you check out my latest featured post yet? http://actvra.in/FkM

Have a good day and good find too.

Best, Clint Mckie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) almost 7 years ago

Good morning, Jay. Fear is a great motivator for getting into the state of denial. Why put money into an asset they no longer own?

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Richard - of the two I think the window is probably the bigger problem.  But they both are and the costs are unknown.  Who would buy that?

Jim - I think the head in the sand policy is not the best policy.  In VA there is no disclosure, unless a home inspection has revealed problems and then the agent is bound.

Debbie - can you believe that?  I'm not sure of the motivation here as an inspection would have a hard time missing either of these things.

Richard - methinks moving to be only half the goal!  As you know...

Yes, Clint, there was a VERY FINE water shield included - caulking!  What could be better than caulking?  Well, maybe duct tape, but for all I know that was going to be the permanent solution to the problem.

Michael - every month the house does not sell it gets one more mortgage payment more expensive to sell.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Good morning Jay,

The best business is open and transparent! I couldn't agree more!!! Sellers and listing agents have got to meet these issues head on. I just went through a mold remediation with one of my sellers..I had worn them about the back door jamb an to have it completed replaced and they didn't want to spend the money..two mold testings and remediation's later and thousands of dollars spent..we closed!

 

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) almost 7 years ago

Wow, good story Dorie.  You are right, head on is the only way, I think anyway.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Amazing, isn't it Jay? Those windows, and even the front entry door and frame are consistantly the two items that homesellers seem to have the most difficulty with accepting as having problems. Perhaps it's because they already have an estimate for the thousands of dollars it sometimes costs to repair all the damage!

Posted by Jeffrey Jonas- Minnesota Home Inspector (Critical Eye Property Inspections / JRJ Consultants) almost 7 years ago

The ostrich approach is never a good one when selling a house.  Did they try to do a Jedi mind trick on you at the same time? Picture Obi Wan looking in your eyes..."There is no problem"

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) almost 7 years ago

Jeffrey - HA!  Two days later I heard through the grapevine (which I learned in business grad school is about 85% accurate) that these sellers had a home inspection in 2008 that revealed the windows to be leaking.  They did not think anything needed to be done about it!

Kathryn - like Jabba, those silly Jedi mind tricks don't work on me...  But I do think the sane on their heads is playing mind tricks on them!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Good morning Jay. Not sure what list agent was thinking commenting on condition of house and going against an home inspectors findings. Sounds like he will be chatting with his attorney if he keeps that up. Yikes.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) almost 7 years ago

Randy - don't know what is lurking in the minds of those people!  This is not the best way to deal with the problem.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Good Post Jay.

Stay safe out there.

John

Posted by John M. Wickline (JW Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Jay, on a similar note (and related to an upcoming post) I hate it when you call for repairs of obvious damage/problem and you call for repairs by the licensed-qualified-whatever and they say there is no problem---you are good to go! :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Thanks John!  Intend to!

Shadow - that is a riot and not uncommon!  This window has damage on both sides, underneath, in the door framing and on the floor under.  But the agent sees no problem...  Hmmmm.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

So while you were telling them about the "no problem" did they have their fingers in their ears and yelling "la la la la la la"?

Seems so.

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 7 years ago

Jay, I am a little surprised that the seller even allowed an inspection to take place. After all, there is no problem with the house, right?

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) almost 7 years ago

Apparently Fred!  I never spoke with them, it was agent to agent, but she said they had no interest in hearing.  The la la la might be very true.

Nail hit on head Debbie!  You drove it in with one blow!  That's a practiced technique.  I am proud of you!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

No Problem, Mon! Of course not~ and that listing agent must have been a professional window installer and plumber in her spare time, right?

Posted by Suzi Sandore, North County San Diego Homes (RealtyONEGroup) almost 7 years ago

Jay -- if there are disclosure requirements in VA -- and they keep saying there is no problem, then they would probably be in violation of proper disclosure.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 7 years ago

Gotta be Suzi.  And a fan of duct tape and Elmer's glue.

Steven - is there was!  There is not.  BUT, if an agent knows of a problem they are required to disclose.

As you can see, there is no problem here.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

There's no rush to sell, it's not like the sellers are carrying a vacant home.... oh wait, it is.  Every day is money lost, but too often people miss the big picture.

Posted by Rafi Footerman, Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More! (Mid Jersey Inspections) almost 7 years ago

Sorta like the famous last word on a tombstone - Hey, y'all, watch THIS..."

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker, email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846 (Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330) almost 7 years ago

Sounds to me like the buyers had had a home inspection done and the home inspector said to pursue the problem further.  In my opinion, the buyer should have quietly got their own estimates instead of asking the seller to get them and then they could have asked for them to be repaired or they would not buy.  But I may have read it wrong.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 7 years ago

I agree, Barbara.  You have the right to do any inspections during you inspection period.  So, get those estimates, you don't need permission for that.

Posted by Lori Fishkind, Realtor (Reliant Realty) almost 7 years ago
This IS a common problem area, in fact it was on my own house. Thankfully the builder made it right. I hope that agent gets a clue. Disclosure, disclosure, disclosure.
Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 7 years ago

Oh, no kidding! You sure don't need any liability that might arise from such a situation. Your clients did the right thing and maybe once these sellers lose another couple of deals, they and their agent might just get real!

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) almost 7 years ago

Rafi - I don't understand the mentality, but if there is no problem there is no disclosure issue, right?

Travis - that's a good one!  Who's stone is that on?

Barbara - they couldn't!  The listing agent controls access, totally!

Lori - we all agree on that, except the listing agent who sees there is no problem so there's no need for anything further...

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Karen - not in this state, UNLESS the listing agent knows of a problem.  Hence, no problem here!

Nina - she needs to real up real quick!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Jay, who'd ever think that little old Arkansas could perhaps be more advanced than VA!  That agent needs to retire.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 7 years ago

Barbara - I have never seen this before.  It's like she is trying to prevent happening what happened!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Jay, Good story, fortunately we don't see this one very often. I don't understand how the seller could stop the buyer from getting an estimate? I just schedule a second showing and we take the contractor with us.

 

Posted by Wayne Jackson, North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake (Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109) almost 7 years ago

Listing agents can be crazy.  On the inspection you just did for me a couple weeks ago, the seller didn't want to fix any of the minor itmes you found because "He is already losing money on the sale of the home...".  Like my buyer really cares.

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) almost 7 years ago

Hi Jay, remeinds me of my uncle asking me why would anyone put a hole in a perfectly good roof for a skylight?  He was right they leaked!

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) almost 7 years ago

Well, if the seller and listing agent are selling the house "as is", then just price the offer accordingly.

Posted by Tina Lam, Residential REALTOR, Broker - (408) 320-5261 (Archers Homes) almost 7 years ago

Jay, amazing what some people will say when there's evidence to the contrary. Maybe the sellers don't want to sell their home.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) almost 7 years ago

Inspections are always....interesting!  Some of them more than others.  When I am walking through a property with buyers and something really obvious jumps out at me, I will mention it to the buyers.  The buyers may think that I am focusing on the negative but in my experience where there is smoke there is firre.  If something really obvious, and possibly dangerous jumps out, what other possibilities may there be.  No use wasting time and money.

Posted by Susan McCall, Independent Listing and Buyer Agent, Bringing buyers and sellers together! (Compass Realty Solutions) almost 7 years ago

Wayne - this listing agent has total control of access to the house.  The sellers are in another state.

Justin - your financial circumstance is not our problem!  Or something like that!

Bob - they leaked because they weren't done right.  But still, they can surely leak!

Tina - they are selling a house, apparently, with no problems!  Full price, no estimates needed!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Pamela - sellers sometimes amaze me.  And their agents.  If you want to sell your house, sell it!

I agree with all that Susan.  It is important to focus on the important!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago
(Hi Jay - That agent is doing herself and more important, her client) no favors. Of course both buyer and seller need to know what repairs would cost. Then they can decide whether the cost is a deal killer or no big deal or if a compromise can be negotiated where buyer and seller each pay a share. Without that info, no one knows how to negotiate.
Posted by Susan Neal, Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker (RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks) almost 7 years ago

Amazing how incompetent some agents are, aren't they? Simply reduce the offer to compensate for the repairs and if they reject, find another property, right?

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) almost 7 years ago

Jay unfortunately at times it seems like some agents and sellers are not trying to find a way to close a transaction when they do things that just don't make sense.  It makes you wonder if the seller really wants to sell and if the agent is in the business to make living.

Posted by Sharon Sanchez, Your Number "1" Source For Real Estate. (Ace Home Realty) almost 7 years ago

Well put Susan.  That is precisely why the buyers walked.

That's certainly a common sense way to handle it Kimo.  And sometimes agents surprise me.

Sharon - I am wondering what else is being covered up!  But no matter, my clients walked.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments