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Sellers dilemna ?

Posted by jane__ny (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 17, 09 at 2:21

People have interest in my home but want to expand the kitchen and possibly the second level. Can they request to bring in a builder or architect to determine the cost and if it is possible.

They have not made an offer.

Jane


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Sure, they can request anything they want. Of course you dont have to let them, but why wouldnt you? I'd say if they are willing to bring in an architect, they are very serious. Architects don't come out for free.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

I agree with Linda -- they can request anything, but it's up to you to allow it. I'd personally allow it. As a buyer if I was planning to renovate extensively, I wouldn't put in an offer until architect reviewed the property. The buyer doesn't know how extensive the renovations will be or if they're even possible without the architects's opinion.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

This is a normal request, welcome it.
They need to do this before making an offer.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Jane,

What is your concern about this?


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

I'm not sure I'm comfortable with someone bringing in a builder or architect to examine my house without an offer. These people want to do major expansion and have requested opinions from us as to what it would cost. I can't do that and refuse to get involved in this.

It started with the kitchen, now they are asking about building out the second floor (3 beds, 2 baths).

My house is 50 yrs old. I have no idea what these expansions involve and feel that I am selling my house 'as is' ... take it or leave it. I really don't want to get involved in 'what if's.'

It just doesn't feel right to me.

Jane


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

you should to a little salesmanship. Any time they are envisioning remodeling and the like, they are envisioning themselves purchasing your home. In other words they are making the emotioinal invesment of picturing themselves there. You should feed this excessively. I had my buyer mentally tearing my house apart.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Jane, go for it. You have nothing to lose!!! While I have yet to do bring in a builder/arch to a home, I would if I found something that had the appeal to me in location, but might not have everything I want in it!
You need to DETACH yourself from your home. Remember, your'e moving!!!
Good Luck!!!!! (keeping my fingers crossed for you!!)


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Jane,
You really don't have to "get involved". They need to determine if their plans are feasible prior to making an offer.
I agree with Elle - you need to detach. Just remember that you want to sell this house and it should not matter to you what color the new owners pain the living room or how many rooms they add to the house.
Good luck.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

This was our scenario as well. The sellers let us prowl around in the attic so we could figure out which were load-bearing walls.
After closing, they moved into a local condo while we gutted the middle part of the house, took out the raised platform dining room, moved the front door, bricked in the old door, and removed the horrible pinky-peachy colored faux concrete rock trim that stretched across the entire front of the house and two 4-ft swaths that went up to the roof (this part took WEEKS using a borrowed 70-lb jack-hammer drill thing and lots of ibuprofen).
We've heard from neighbors that keep in touch with them that they were shocked at the changes we've made that were visible from the street (they haven't seen the inside yet!), but they were especially shocked that we removed the pink "rocks", since they matched the sparkly sherbet green stucco!
Let it go!


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Jane,

If they ask for your opinion on what it would cost, just say, "I don't know." Other than that you don't have to get involved except to allow a second showing. Anyone seriously interested in the house would probably want that.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Jane,
You must treat these Buyers like gold... that is what they are in this market.
There is no good reason to not let them explore the possibilities of what they want to do with the home. After all, they are not asking you to do the remodel.
If, for some reason you do not allow it, you could ask them to write up an offer contingent on getting their arch. out there w/in a certain time frame. But, chances are, they want to do this step before committing to a contract.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Just make sure they are really a builder etc and not someone just casing the place. Make sure all your valuables are out of sight and like several stated, do not give your opinion. Do they have an agent? or are you FSBO? Maybe, because of the age, they are hoping you will lower the price. Be firm and smile alot. Do you have an agent? Another thing, just for your own knowledge, if you do not have a second story, the beams in the house, may not hold a second story which means big bucks. Also if they start tearing into the house could they find asbestos? Many of the older homes do have it in somewhere? Just a thought which could cause problems.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

I think it would be good thing if they are coming in knowing they will want to make some changes. If you are unwilling to make any improvements or repairs (you stated you are selling "as is") buyers coming in that may have issues with a few things are going to walk right back out. These potential buyers may overlook a lot more little things knowing that they are planning on changing alot anyway.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

The only possible reason for hesitation for me would be that if the "professional experts" found some issue (real or imagined) and let me know in writing of its presence, then I have to disclose this issue to all subsequent buyers.

When selling my mother's house, I asked my realtor if I should find out anything about the condition of the house and he said, "No, we don't know and we don't want to know."
So, I'd be slightly concerned about the pandora's box possibly -- 0nce something is out, you can't put it back.
Good luck
Susan


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RE: Sellers dilemna ???

Besides of a potential asbestos problem, older homes may contain copper plumbing with lead and that is a problem. This is a difficult decision as if you do, yes they could find something you have to disclose, and if you don't you could loose a sale. Maybe the people could make a firm offer with everything in writing. TO you, do they really seem serious, or are they just looking to find something cheaper--is the builder a friend of theirs? etc Questions first, then go by your feeling. Is this the first "real" offer etc? Good luck whatever you decide and if you turn them down, something else will show up.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Thanks for all the responses. I guess I feel nervous that something would be discovered that I didn't know existed. The wall they want to remove is a exterior wall which supports the roof. They want to make the kitchen and sunroom, one room. The sunroom is really an enclosed part of the deck which is 2 stories high. Complicated but I suppose anything can be done for a price. This work would produce a very large kitchen, involve moving plumbing and running heat and electric. I'm not a builder and the whole idea seems much too involved.

They were supposed to come this weekend but I had a disaster with a tile floor in the entry. Had to have it torn up and relaid, which is still going on. My house is a mess with cement dust. I won't allow any showings until the end of the week. Maybe, by then they found something else. I know they are facing a time issue and need to move soon.

I think Susan's post explains our feelings. The whole thing makes me nervous. I'll probably allow it if they come back later this week. The second floor is another story...

Jane


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

One thing I have learned is that I may think one thing and the buyers situation would be different. The first people we had look at our home was an older couple. The wife loved it and the husband was luke warm with the whole moving thing. I was surprised that an older couple (in their 70's) would be interested in such a large home - at least I thought it was large at 3300sq ft. I also thought it was on the high side as far as price is in our town. Come to find out they owned a home that was almost twice the size of ours and worth in the millions, so this was a major step down for them!!!! As it was, the husband really didn't want to move from the home they had. I have learned to "smile" as mariend suggested, and to "keep my mouth shut" (I tend to get nervous and say dumb things)! That is why I tried so hard to be out of the home when buyers came. Every once in a while, I would think they were out and would walk in when buyers where still in the home when I thought they had left!!!! I kept that smile and said very little (it was very hard!!!!).


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Jane,
Do not worry about the couple finding problems with the home. ANY buyer is going to have a thorough inspection of the home and find the same things.
I do not understand why you are so nervous about the complexity and potential expense of the buyers remodel... it will not affect you at all.
Call them back now and tell them to inspect the home till thier heart's delight.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

"...older homes may contain copper plumbing with lead and that is a problem..."

The Safe Water Drinking Act amendment in 1986 removed lead from plumbing solder for potable water.

Nearly all work before that data has lead solder.

A coating forms on the solder inside the pipe and it will not leach lead if the water chemistry remains good.

Just like most building items, old work is grandfathered.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

The more I think about this issue -- i.e. buyers who have not yet made an offer (no earnest money) wanting to bring professionals to inspect your home which is on the market -- the more nervous I would become.

Having been recently through the buying, selling cycle -- this doesn't seem quite kosher. I don't think that a buyer would go to these lengths unless they are very serious about a property (yet they have done nothing to indicate any seriousness at all.

Asking you to let architects, contractors etc. traipse in and poke around seems odd at this stage in the game. When selling my mother's home, I encountered some "big talkers" with big plans -- but they turned out to be flaky who had no intention for following through.

I'd be leery of letting them into the home, until they showed some signs of being serious about this. And I still feel that the best way to deal with the inspection is to wait until you have it done when the house is under contract and then you can address specific issues. If these "experts" start telling you things about your home at this stage, it could cause you problems with the disclosure. And if you chose not to disclose things that might be told to you now, you could have some problems after the sale of the house.

Best of luck on this
Susan


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

When we bought our most recent house, we we looking at all old "fixer uppers" to restore. There is no way we would have made an offer on a house that we planned to do major structural changes to without bringing in a professional for some estimates. These type of projects can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of bucks, so you need to know what you are getting into up front.

I would be cautious of anybody requesting stuff that would normally be done as part of a home inspection though. That would probably just be a setup for a lowball offer.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Susan, again we think alike. But I understand where bill1 is coming from. I also love c9pilots story.

I think I might have lost this sale because I canceled showings this whole week due to the work going in. I understand the buyers were looking at houses all weekend and this week. They may have found the kitchen they wanted with the property. There are so many houses for sale in my area. In all the 30+ years living here, I've never seen so many For Sale signs.

Very scary.

Jane


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

There are so many houses for sale in my area. In all the 30+ years living here, I've never seen so many For Sale signs.

Just another reason to WORK with any interested parties!!


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Hi Jane ny,

Very scary.

It sure is and I understand where the people here are coming from and sometimes even if you don't like it you have to bend a little. But I do want to tell you my story. I am in the process of selling my mothers home and believe me I have run into some pretty odd people. We are selling the house AS IS also and this last buyer put me through H E double hockey sticks.

He came out with his exterminator to have the house checked for termites. My husband and I just happened to be there. The man goes downstairs and comes back up and says there are no termites but you have an infestation of Brown Recluse Spiders. I said "what?" So I went downstairs with them and he had this long light and I saw what looked like a spider but it was kind of silvery.

The buyer then comes up and wants us to drop the price by $3,000 dollars and I said no.

I called my sister and we decided to bring in this company who is not only licensed but is also Certified in my state. This means their people have to go through 6 Months of training not 40 days and they have to take 3 tests and take a college course before they will even consider hiring them.

We had them come out and check the house over and they laid traps and we had also laid out Big H traps ourselves and nothing was on them when the man came out. He told us then that these people come out scare you and make you think you have something bad in your home and then they hit you with $900 dollars and a year contract saying it will take that long to get rid of them.

Anyway to make a long story short the man sprayed, put crystals down around the outside of the house and he also put a special powder in the crevices and other areas that if they get it on them it will kill them and other ones that come near them and he put down some more traps.

2 Weeks later we had them come back out and this time they sent the manager out and he checked the traps and sprayed and did the same thing as the other man. He wrote in his report that at this time there currently are no Brown Recluse Spiders nor did they find any before they sprayed. The house was not infested with them and they found no evidence of any having been there.

I left copys for the buyer and he asked my agent why when we were selling the house AS Is would we have it sprayed? I told her to tell him because we are on that property keeping up the maintence upstairs, downstairs and in the garage. I also didn't trust the man who said they were there and I can't prove it but were they in this together? Who knows, I just wanted to get to the truth of this. We had never seen any spiders when we went through my mothers stuff, in the closets in bags nothing and that is when I decided to take action and get to the bottom of this.

Now he has the proof and his trying to lower the price because of the bugs stopped his little game. Then he tried to get us to take out all of the drywall in the garage because he wanted to make sure there were no brown recluse spiders and he wanted us to take the responsibility for the work in case they got injured. I told my agent to tell him if he is concerned about that then he should make sure that when he hires someone to do the job that they are bonded, Licenced and Insured in case they would happen to get injured. So that stopped him on that one.

This is just some of the things I ran across and you have to watch them. If they come back on you with anything then get someone out there who will give you a free estimate and get their opinon in writing.

BTW, I had the house appraised before I put it out on the market, that helped me to know what the house was worth.

I also had them emailing me (the agents company) telling me what people thought and I got some stupid remarks and all it did was make me mad and I finally told them not to send me another thing and for them to just do their job and get the house sold.

One last thing, some of these people don't seem to get it that the house is being sold AS IS. I said many times what part of AS IS don't these people understand?

It may be a buyers market right now but don't get suckered in on a scam because they are out there too. The name of the game is for them to get it as cheaply as possible and you have to stand your ground. If you feel like something is wrong then get out and you will hear from someone else. It has taken 6 Months to get this sold but closing will be tomorrow or the next day. Finally!

You have to do your homework too and make sure you aren't getting taken by someone who may come out and tell you there is a major problem with your home when there is NOT.

So my advice to you as the seller is try to be sharp and alert to the possiblity of someone trying to scam you. Be honest and disclose what you know and remember if you don't know something you are not responsible for something that you don't know. If you have an agent make sure he/she is a sellers agent not a duel agent. duel agents represent the buyer and the seller and there could be a conflict of interest. My agent did a duel agent on this contract and I was not happy with some of the things she has done. They get money from you and from the buyer. Some states have outlawed duel agency.

I haven't even begun to tell you of other things that I ran across selling this home but, stay on your toes and don't give up and don't take everything you hear as gospel. When in doubt have it checked out.

One last thing, I am not trying to frighten you, I am trying to inform you what things you may run across. You sound like a smart lady and I think all will go well for you if you just keep in mind what kind of people are out there. There are great people and there are the other ones who try to take advantage. I'm sure you will be able to tell the difference. Hope all goes well for you.

thirdfrt!!!


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

If I had a client that refused showings for over a week because of a little dust and a missing ceramic tile, I would probably politely cancel our agreement. There are soooooo many homes on the market that buyers will not come back after they have been told that they have been denied a showing appointment.
Why not just compromise and ask the buyers to write up a contract being contingent on a buyers Due Diligence time period. During that tie, they can bring in whoever they feel like in order to determine if the home is right for them.
As far as the poster that says that these buyers have nothing in the game... architects charge plenty for them to come out and examine a home. This alone shows that they are fairly serious.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

"As far as the poster that says that these buyers have nothing in the game... architects charge plenty for them to come out and examine a home. This alone shows that they are fairly serious."

We are buyers. We are looking at a house that is 50+ yrs. old that is being sold by the original owners. They have moved out and the house is empty. When the agent showed us the house the electricity was turned on but the water wasn't.

The house has one small garage but is on a nice bit of acreage. We have two cars and would have to build an additional garage.

The owners considered expanding at one time and even had the plans drawn up but never followed through. We think it is because the national park next door used eminent domain to buy up some of the surrounding properties, bought half of the acreage the house is on and enacted scenic easements on the remainder.

There is also a question about the quality of the well water. We know people in the area who have had issues with orange, smelly well water. We think this is why the water wasn't turned on. We know this can be remedied, but it is still an i$$ue.

We have decided BEFORE we bother to make an offer, we would like to have the water tested and talk to the county/bldg dept/architect. to see what structures we would be allowed to build. If we can't build a garage, then we see no the point in signing a contract and having our funds frozen. This would be a deal breaker.

Buyers and sellers both need to be protected. If I were selling, I'd probably not allow a buyer to bring in an architect until they showed proof of funds/financing. I might go so far as to require I.D. and ask them to sign waivers stating they won't dig into any walls, etc during the course of their inspection.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

I really appreciate all the stories and opinions. I truly see both sides of the picture and agree that there are certain instances where a buyer needs to have an expert come into a home before making an offer. I'm sure I would do the same under certain conditions. However, I can't help feeling uneasy about this.

I notified the agency that the house can be shown starting tomorrow. NCRealestateguy, my front foyer (250sq ft) was torn up. There are 4 doors in this foyer and all were removed and taped with plastic drop clothes. The only way in and out was through my laundry/mud room. The only access to my living areas is through this front foyer. There was metal mesh embeded in cement sticking up from the torn up floor. Cement dust was everywhere because the cement (mud) was 2+ inches in places. My house looked like someone dumped baby-powder all over the walls and furniture.

This was a big job which made a mess. The dust so bad, at times, we had to wear masks. There was no way in hell I was showing the house. The outside entry had piles of broken tiles, tile cutting machines and water all over. You could not come near the front of the house.

If we lost these potential buyers - so be it. I'm tired of all this and we're only 1 month into it. This disaster with the floor really hit me hard. After a year of getting the house worked on and finally getting it listed, this floor business had to happen. Not only did it prevent me from showing, it created so much work to clean up, I lost a day of work to clean everything today, every bookshelf, dishes (everything in the kitchen was coated with dust), walls, floors, lamps, etc. My house is a contemporary and the rooms are all open to each other.

We'll see what happens this weekend. My gut tells me these people (if they are still around) will try to finance this work by low-balling my asking price.

Thanks again for the great advice and experiences.
Jane


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

As far as the poster that says that these buyers have nothing in the game... architects charge plenty for them to come out and examine a home. This alone shows that they are fairly serious.

An architect is trained and licensed in planning and designing buildings, and participates in supervising the construction of a building.

(n) architect, designer (someone who creates plans to be used in making something (such as buildings))
WordNet home page

architect [?rk? tkt] (plural architects) noun
1.ARCHITECTURE building designer: somebody whose job is to design buildings and advise on their construction
Encarta World English Dictionary

My son-in-law is an Architect and he designs buildings and draws up the plans for them, he/she does not go to existing individual homes to examine/or inspect them.

Building inspectors inspect buildings. Home Inspectors conduct inspections of newly built or previously owned homes. They generally inspect a home's roofing and structural quality as well as the home's plumbing, electrical, and heating and air conditioning systems.

Now if there is a problem with an existing home you wouldn't call an architect to replace a roof, you would call someone who specializes in putting roofs on, if you had a plumbing problem you would call a plumber etc. If you wanted to have a brand new building built a certain way then you might want to call an architect to draw up the plans if you couldn't do it yourself.
For existing homes you would call someone who does construction for either interior or exterior parts of your home, like for instance if you wanted siding put on, you would call someone who specializes in putting siding on. For whatever the job is for an existing home you can call someone to come in and look it over to give you an estimate of the cost of the repair and they normally won't charge you for an estimate, because they are trying to get your business.

Is an architect expensive? Yes they are if you want them to draw up plans for something brand new, that you want built. They also will go out to the construction site to make sure that the workers are building it according to the plans that the architect drew up.

Building Inspectors do charge and their fees vary. Their cost could range from $35.00 to $175.00.

Normally people who are just looking at homes won't get any inspections but, when they sign a contract on the home they want, then the loan company they are borrowing from will want inspections done to make sure everything is sound and normally the buyer is the one who pays for those inspections.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Jane,

What exactly happened to your floor? Why was it torn up?

Susan


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

I had some friends who had an architect come out to look at a house they were considering purchasing. The architect didn't poke around or do anything big-- he just came and walked through the same as anyone would, then stood outside and gave some verbal ideas and ballpark figures for what it would take to actually do them. My friends put an offer in on that house after the architect came, but they didn't end up buying it.

Still, if this is what your potential buyer has in mind (and it sounds like it might be), it doesn't seem like something to worry about. It's nothing you have to pay for or report-- it's just an extra factor that the buyer is taking into consideration when they're deciding whether or not to put in an offer and how high they're willing to go.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Thanks again. I will allow it as long as it doesn't involved in-depth inspection of my house. No showings this weekend and we're getting our driveway paved tomorrow. No cars for 3 days. Haven't heard back from those people. Lost a few weeks with all this work.

Susan, long story. Short version is I had 8 cracked tiles in my foyer. I asked someone who did some work for me in the past, could he replace those cracked tiles. I had a leftover box of the tiles. He said he could, would take 15 mins. While I wasn't home, he brought a worker who didn't speak English. He states he told him to pull up the 8 tiles. He left him there alone.

I came home and 3/4 of my floor was ripped out. You don't want to know what I did when I saw it. It gets worse from there, but I won't bore you with it. Actually, thinking about it again makes me want to jump off a cliff.

Jane


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

"I had 8 cracked tiles in my foyer. I asked someone who did some work for me in the past, could he replace those cracked tiles. I had a leftover box of the tiles. He said he could, would take 15 mins. While I wasn't home, he brought a worker who didn't speak English. He states he told him to pull up the 8 tiles. He left him there alone.

I came home and 3/4 of my floor was ripped out. "

OMG. You shouldn't have to pay for this. Is the supervisor of this employee going to fix this?

You might want to visit the Home disasters forum to see if anyone there has suggestions about how to deal with this.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

After almost killing this worker (not kidding), I certainly didn't pay him anything. Sad part, I'm not sure he knew what happened. Couldn't understand anything I was screaming at him!

Called my realtor, who ran over immediately and after trying to calm me down, called a handy-man she has worked with. Long and short, I had to buy $600.00 worth of new tile and have the floor retiled. It was a major job because some cement with metal mesh was put down and had to be chiseled out. Final cost was almost 2 grand.

It's over, I have a new floor (which is not level), but I'm calm.......

Jane


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Is there anyway that you could recoop some of that money from the guys who did the work and messed it up? I am thinking if he was just a handyman he probably isn't covered for the damage caused by one of his workers, unless you take him to small claims court. That's your call though and it depends on how well you know him and if you even want to go to all that to get your money back.

So sorry it went bad for you Jane.


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RE: Sellers dilemna ?

Thanks for the kind words. My Realtor wanted me to sue in small claims, but I just don't have the energy. The first guy, I've used as a handyman for years and have had a few problems when he would bring in someone else to do the work. I should have known better. I'm sure he doesn't have insurance and I really don't want to go through a lawsuit. It would be like, trying to get blood from a stone.

My fault, I should have been home. Its so hard to get things done when you work and can't always be there to see what goes on.

'Water under the bridge' ...I just want to get this house sold.

Jane


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