Let’s start out by agreeing that there is no such thing as a sure thing in the home buying process. By ‘sure thing’ we mean a guaranteed, no-issues-whatsoever, smooth sailing, problem-free home with rainbows and unicorns in the backyard.
When you are looking at homes, regardless of whether it is a new build or a century home, as a buyer, you have to consider the Mystery Factor of the home. The mystery factor would be the amount of unknowns that exist with the home that you are willing to accept or live with.
Century homes are a prime example. Older homes tend to provide more mystery and intrigue which for some, is part of the charm. An unlevel floor is a deal breaker for some and virtually irrelevant to others. Is there any knob & tube wiring? Galvanized or lead plumbing lines? Asbestos on the vents or radiator lines? What’s in the attic? The basement is finished and the seller says they’ve never had water? In a home that predates WWI, those are all questions that regardless of what info you’re given have to be considered and reconsidered.
As we show buyers a home, one of our roles is to help bring to light any mysteries (or blatant crimes!) that we see. Then we find out how many mysteries a particular buyer is willing to accept.
And rest assured, there is a huge range from buyer to buyer.
The Mystery Factor concept applies to all homes. If you have a home built in the 1960s, there may be concerns about a block foundation or possibly ungrounded wiring. A home in the 1990s may have a sump pump issue or floor tile cracking from inadequate subfloor. A home built in 2014 may have cracks at the ceiling from truss lift.
Part of the role of your buyer rep should be to act as your personal Sherlock Homes to uncover any mysteries. Then, the goal is to solve the case and find a hopefully reasonable explanation.
And of course home inspectors play a role in this process too but prior to that, uncovering the facts is a critical and often underestimated part of the home buyer journey.
…and food for thought if you’re selling. Putting yourself in the shoes of the buyer, what mysteries or questions can you anticipate? Finding those and clearing up those mysteries prior to a buyer coming through will only help your cause.
If you’d like to discuss your real estate needs and benefit from our nearly 40 years of experience, feel free to contact us anytime!
As far as who is Sherlock and who is Dr.Watson, we’ll leave that one to you!
Photo credit belongs with Max Newhall (find him on IG @maxmartigan)
Thank-you for visiting.
Patrick Burke – Broker
James Broderick – Sales Rep
McGarr Realty Corp., Brokerage