Thursday, July 20, 2006

Are you paying too much for that house?

As an exclusive buyer's agent it pains me to see buyers paying too much money for houses that just aren't worth it, knowing full well that if they had taken the time to hire me they would have paid less money. Several months ago I did a home buying seminar for a credit union and it was well attended by doctors, nurses, physician attendants and other hospital employees. One of the attendees contacted me several weeks ago asking for my help. She had found a home that she wanted to buy and had agreed to pay the seller's full price of $539,000. Now she wanted me to come see the house and let her know if it was a good house. I ran a comparable market analysis and determined that the house was slightly overpriced based on its exterior condition and location however I told her I would know more after we hired a professional home inspector to check out the sytems and foundation of the house. I met the inspector at the house and was able to see the interior for the first time. The rooms were very small and the house had never been updated so it needed a complete renovation which would include a new kitchen; bath; paneling removal; sheetrock; new carpet; new paint and a whole host of other smaller items. I told my client that I thought the house was worth much less money than she had agreed to pay for it. Meanwhile the home inspector had found some serious water intrusion problems in the basement with actual furry mold growing on the concrete walls. Basically I had to tell the client that the house was a disaster and she should walk away from it. Thankfully she listened but not all buyers do. Many never even contact me because they are unaware that I will actually save them money and that my services are typically fully paid for by the real estate commission that is already included in the asking price of the house. Remember, a good buyer's agent won't cost you money they will save you money and just may prevent you from making the biggest financial mistake of your life.

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