Five Costly Mistakes That Home Sellers Frequently Make!
If You’re Selling Your Home, This Could Be One Of The Most Important Documents You’ll Ever Read!
Day after day, I hear people tell me, “Why didn’t someone tell me this before I lost all of my money?” I can really appreciate how people feel when that happens. Man, I can tell you that I personally have made some big mistakes in my life and if someone with knowledge and expertise would have talked to me before I walked off the end of the old proverbial pier, things would have ended up so much better. That is exactly why I want to spend the next few minutes with you discussing how you can avoid these FIVE COSTLY MISTAKES THAT HOME SELLERS FREQUENTLY MAKE. And, who knows? Maybe you’ll even be able to save yourself a bundle, too!
Costly Mistake #1: Not Getting A Termite Inspection Done Before You Put Your Home On The Market!
Most home sellers wait until they have sold their home before calling for a termite inspection and more often than not, home sellers are sorry that they didn’t have it done earlier! Here are two big reasons why it is so important to get a termite inspection done before you put your home on the market:
a. You need to know exactly where you stand before you start negotiating the sales price of your home. What happens if you wait until your home is in escrow, get a termite inspection done and find out that you need thousands of dollars in termite treatments and repairs? It’s probably too late to go back to the bargaining table to ask for a higher sales price. If you get caught in a situation like this, you might as well go and get some mustard cause you’re probably going to wind up eating the loss!
By getting a termite inspection done before you put your home on the market, you’ll know exactly where you stand. If there aren’t any problems, you’ll know that there’s nothing to worry about. But if there are problems and big expenses coming, you’ll be in a much better position to negotiate a winning deal for yourself! To schedule a termite inspection, call us at (949) 631-7348 or use our on-line order form.
b. Don’t air your dirty laundry in public! If there are problems with your home, isn’t it better to find out about them before your potential home buyers do? No, I don’t mean that you should hide or try and cover up problems. If there is something wrong with your home, chances are that you’re going to have to fix it anyway. By having your home inspected before you put it on the market, you’ll know if there are any problems with your home and then you can decide the best way to correct them. Correcting these problems before you list your home will help to increase your home’s value, too!
Costly Mistake #2: Getting Stuck With A Rotten Wood Patio Cover Or Deck!
I always warn home sellers about the dangers of wood patio covers & decks and many sellers just laugh … Until they find out that they have to fork out thousands of dollars to build new ones!
This can be a very expensive mistake. The good news is that this mistake can be prevented and avoiding this potential landmine will often save you thousands of dollars! How can you keep from making this mistake? The best way is to get a termite inspection done before you put your home on the market!
You see, most of these wood patio covers and decks are constantly exposed to rain, sun, heat, cold and it doesn’t take very long before termites and dryrot take their toll. You’ll find a lot of wood patio covers and decks that really don’t look too bad a first glance. But, when you look close you’ll find one rotten piece here, another there and another one over there and before you know it, you’re having to build a new one. Don’t know if you’ve been to the lumber yard lately, but the cost of wood has skyrocketed over the past decade! Contractors don’t come cheap, either!
Have a thorough termite inspection done before you put your home on the market and you’ll know whether or not the wood patio covers and decks need to be replaced. If they are shot, you can decide if you want to build new ones or simply throw the old ones in the dump!
FACT: Most wood patio covers and decks add little or no value to your home! Quite often they can be removed, a little touch up work done to the house and no one will ever mention the subject again!
WARNING! Many home sellers shrug off potential problems with wood patio covers and decks as unimportant. If your buyer agrees to purchase your home and a wood patio cover or deck is present at the time of purchase, You can’t just take them off and throw them away. IT’S TOO LATE! The buyers will almost always insist that new ones are built and the sales contract that you signed will bind you to do so!
WARNING! Others may quote that old famous line of, “I’m selling the house as is.” And, their sales contract may even say that the house is “being sold as is.” PLEASE NOTE THAT BANKS OR LENDERS USUALLY COULD CARE LESS IF YOU SAY THAT THE HOUSE IS BEING SOLD AS IS. IF THEY ARE GOING TO LOAN MONEY TO PURCHASE THE HOME, THEY ALMOST ALWAYS INSIST THAT THE HOUSE HAS A CLEAR TERMITE INSPECTION. And, that usually means that if attached wood patio covers or decks won’t pass inspection, you’re buyer will not get their loan!
Some homes have been sold with rotten patio covers or decks. But most of these homes had buyers that either paid cash or had a huge down payment. There are also a few banks around that don’t require termite inspections (Good luck in finding one and if you do find one like that, they are usually the kind of bank that only loans money to those that don’t really need the money, anyway.).
NOTE: THERE IS NO CALIFORNIA STATE LAW THAT REQUIRES THAT YOU GET A TERMITE INSPECTION DONE ON YOUR HOME. THE BANKS AND LENDERS ARE THE ONES CALLING THE SHOTS HERE!
Costly Mistake #3: Condo And Townhome Owners Not Checking To See What The Homeowner Associations Will And Will Not Pay For Prior To Ordering Repairs And Termite Treatments!
Just the other day, we were doing termite treatments and repairs on an entire condominium complex of 120 units. The homeowner association was paying for all repairs and treatment on every single unit! In other words, if you’re selling your condo in this complex and it needs termite treatment or repairs, you don’t have to spend a dime of your own money!
But low and behold, while we’re doing FREE TREATMENTS AND REPAIRS on one of these condos, here comes another termite company in to do treatment on a unit that we had scheduled to do the following week. THEY CHARGED THAT POOR SUCKER $750.00! One quick call to the homeowners association would have saved him a $750.00 MISTAKE!
If you are even thinking about selling your condo or townhome, call your homeowner association first! Ask them if they will take care of termite treatments and repairs. Every association is different! Some associations do everything, some only do parts of the job and others won’t do anything. If they do cover all or portions of these services, ask them what procedures you should take to get the job done.
WARNING! DO NOT ORDER A TERMITE INSPECTION UNTIL YOU’VE TALKED TO YOUR HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATION! Many homeowner associations are under contract with a termite control service and if you hire someone else to do a termite inspection on your home, you may be wasting your money! If you make this mistake, the homeowner association will more than likely just throw the termite inspection THAT YOU JUST PAID FOR IN THE TRASH CAN! And then, they’ll call their own termite company and you will pay them to do another inspection! (I’ve seen condo and townhome owners make this mistake so many times – I can’t count that high!).
WARNING! You need to call the homeowner association and take care of this before you put your home on the market! Even if the homeowner association is responsible for termite treatments and repairs, there is almost always a lot of red tape involved (Association board meetings, committee approvals and over-worked property managers that have dozens of other problems to deal with before they can get to yours.). You need to allow for plenty of time to get these things approved. Wait till the last minute and instead of getting it free, you may wind up paying big money to get someone else to do a rush job for you!
Costly Mistake #4: Painting, Repairing Or Re-roofing Your Home Before Getting A Termite Inspection Done!
This is another very common mistake that home sellers make. Oh sure, their intentions are good and they want for their homes to look their best. But their deeds will often backfire and wind up costing them. Here are a few examples of how sellers lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars:
a. Fresh paint can really increase a home’s appeal and value to potential buyers. Where home sellers get into trouble is that they have their homes painted before they get a termite inspection. Most painters are in a big hurry to get in and finish the job so they just splash paint all over everything, including the infested and rotten wood!
Had a home that I inspected the other day. When I first saw the house, it was freshly painted and looked great. But, when I looked closer, I found over $3,000.00 worth of damaged wood! What did that mean to the poor home seller? It meant that I was going to remove all of the damaged wood and throw most of his fresh paint job in the trash can when I did the repair work! It also meant that the seller would have to hire the painters to come back and do the paint job over again! That is a lot of wasted time and money!
It’s so easy to keep this from happening to you. All you need to do is to have a thorough termite inspection done before you have your home painted. If repairs are needed, you can make arrangements to have them done before you start painting. Why pay twice? Save yourself time and money and call me at (949) 631-7348 or use our on-line order form to schedule us do a thorough termite inspection done before you start painting!
b. A lot of home sellers do repairs and improvements to their homes when they are preparing them to sell. But, you want to know what’s really sad? It’s sad when someone spends a whole bunch of money and spends a whole bunch of time, only to find out that their work will not pass inspection. And, when they find out that the whole thing will have to be taken back apart and re-done, they are so mad that they’re ready to explode!
I saw a good example of this the other day. The homeowner knew that his wood patio deck was shot and that it had to be replaced. So, he grabbed the phone book and called several contractors to give him an estimate. Of course he took the low bid. The deck looked pretty good when the contractor was done. But, the contractor made one HUGE MISTAKE – He set the deck directly on the ground instead of setting it on concrete pads or a foundation. “Why is that such a big deal?”, you ask. It was a big deal because the people buying this home were getting an FHA loan and the folks at FHA said they wouldn’t finance this home unless the deck was pulled out and installed properly on concrete pads or foundation! So, the poor home seller had to pay the contractor to do the job over again! (The contractor said that he didn’t know that FHA wouldn’t allow for wood decks to be set right on the ground. Personally, I don’t accept that excuse. If the contractor would have read the Uniform Building Code or called the local building department, he would have known better!).
c. Is the roof on you home shot and are you going to have it replaced? WARNING! DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT HAVING THIS DONE UNTIL YOU HAVE A THOROUGH TERMITE INSPECTION DONE FIRST! Everyday, home sellers lose thousands of dollars by not taking this advice. “How do they lose money this way?”, you ask. Here’s how;
In my personal experience, if you go out and inspect ten homes that have been recently re-roofed, you’ll find that 9 out of 10 of those new roofs were installed directly over rotten and infested wood! When these homes were sold, the rotten and infested wood will have to be replaced and in some cases, the new roofing will have to be taken back off in order to do the repairs! WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY! THAT MEANS THAT YOU’RE HAVING TO PAY TWICE FOR A JOB THAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!
If you are going to put on a new roof, you’ve got to have a thorough termite inspection done on your home, FIRST! When I do the inspection, I always mark areas that need repairs with chalk so that you’ll know exactly what needs to be replaced before the new roof is installed. You can have your roofer do the repairs or we’ll be glad to do them for you. The most important thing here is that you have the work done before the new roof is installed! It is so much easier to do the repairs when the roof is off and labor cost are often cut in half!
NOTE: If your home does have a problem with drywood termites, it’s a great idea to have them treated before you install a new roof. Let’s say that your home has a small infestation of drywood termites, doing treatment while the roof is off often allows greater access for more thorough treatment. On the other hand, if you have the new roof installed and a termite infestation is found, the new roof may have to be taken off to allow access for treatment or you’ll just have to go with a tent fumigation.
NOTE: If your home needs a tent fumigation, it only makes sense that you want to do this before the new roof is installed. You don’t want guys walking all over your new roof? – especially if the new roof is made of fragile metal, tiles or wood shake!
BOTTOM LINE: You don’t have to take my advice here. You can go ahead, install your new roof and then call for an inspection when your home is in escrow. But, don’t complain when you find out that your new roof has to be taken back off to do the repair work (At an enormous expense!). And, don’t complain when you find out how many of your brand new roof tiles get broken during the fumigation process and how much it’s going to cost you to replace them!
Costly Mistake #5: Trying to get by on “sub-standard” termite treatments and repairs.
Everyone wants to save money, but trying to cut corners on termite treatments and repairs can be very costly! Take what happened to this one home seller for instance:
She had a termite inspection done on her home. The guy did a good inspection but she didn’t like it when he told her that she needed to have her home fumigated for drywood termites. So, she promptly grabbed her trusty phone book and called another termite company. The second inspector told her that she really wouldn’t need to have her home fumigated and that he could do a spot treatment, instead. His price was only half the cost of a fumigation and she hired him on the spot.
What the second inspector didn’t tell her was that she should carefully read her sales contract. The contract, in very fine print, said that his spot treatment was considered to be a “secondary recommendation”, it was considered to be “sub-standard” and that it could not be guaranteed.
Bankers are pretty good about reading the fine print and when they saw the part about “sub-standard” termite treatments, they rejected the new loan on the house. They told her that she would need to have the work done again – The Right Way!
The home seller called the “cheap termite man” back to see if he could help her. That’s when he told her to read the fine print on her sales contract(In so many words, it said she was screwed!). She wound up calling the first inspector back to fumigate the house(In other words, she paid twice!).
Termite repairs are another area where “sub-standard” work gets home sellers into a lot of trouble. Doing good repair work can be very expensive and it is so tempting to hire someone that will come in and do a cheap patch job. But, home buyers are getting smarter these days and many of them are hiring licensed contractors to do inspections. Some buyers are also insisting on having their own termite man to give a second opinion. What does that mean to you? It means that if you do a cheap patch job, you may lose a good potential buyer. The buyers may insist that you have the job done over again – The Right Way! I’ve also seen a lot of shrewd buyers catch bogus repair jobs this and instead of having you fix it, they ask for a huge discount off the selling price. (NOTE: Shrewd buyers know to wait until the last minute to ask for these concessions. They like to see your back up against the wall, when they know you’ll have no choice but to give in to their demands!). You can’t afford those kinds of losses, can you?
BOTTOM LINE: You need to have a thorough termite inspection done before you put your home on the market. Click here to order your inspection or for quicker response, call me at 949-631-7348. You’ll get a detailed report, a great estimate and you’ll know exactly where you stand before you put your home on the market. If you still want to try and get by with “sub-standard” work, that’s O.K.. But I really believe that if you’ll take the time to look at your home with me and analyze the situation, you’ll agree that cutting corners with “bogus repairs and treatments” is not worth the risk.