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This Cracked Foundation is Killing the Sale of your Home

This last week, I had the opportunity to show three homes to one of our buyers. They were all in the same price range of $250,000 to $300,000 and within a few blocks of each other. I’ve literally toured over 10,000 homes in my 17 years in real estate, but it still intrigues¬†me to see the buyer’s perspective and hear what they think about each home they tour.¬†In this case, I was showing these homes to a first time home buyer.

The first home we toured was slightly older than the other two, but it had a brand new deck on the back, a freshly painted interior, granite counters in the kitchen and bathrooms, and it was in excellent shape. I told them, “This is a great home and you won’t have to spend too much money updating anything.” To be honest, I thought they might actually stop the home tour right there and write an offer, but they decided they did want to see the other two homes, so onward we went.

The second home we toured was also a very nice home. It was updated as expected for this price point. It had newer carpet, they painted all the originally stained wood a nice white/cream color, and the appliances were newer. As we arrived at this home, the listing agent texted me to let me know they already had multiple offers on the home, so we would need to write an offer pretty quickly. I think this home would have been fine for our buyers too, but the bedrooms were a little smaller and the backyard was not fenced. We did actually have quite a discussion about comparing this home with the first one. This one was ten years newer than the first home and possibly a little nicer neighborhood too.

As we pulled up to the third home on the list, we noticed the landscaping was overgrown and a mess. The front door needed painting and the exterior would probably also need to be painted at some point soon. We were not even inside the home yet and our buyers were already crossing this one off their list. Once inside, the first thing I saw was a half-painted wall. It was literally like they started to paint the wall as this home went on the market, then stopped and never finished it . The inside was a mess and when I turned to look at the buyers, they both had a sour look on their faces.

The worst part of this home though was the huge X shaped crack in the basement wall. The wall had probably moved inward at least three inches and was cracking under the pressure. I texted the listing agent to ask what the seller was planning to do with this and she texted me back, “They have a bid and are planning to fix it.” Unfortunately, that didn’t matter to our buyers because they were heading for the front door. They wanted nothing to do with this home and I don’t blame them.

Honestly, it was a very nice home and slightly larger than the other two we previewed. If their agent would have suggested waiting until after the painting and repairs have been done, they probably would have gotten into a bidding war on their home. Later in the day, that listing agent called me back to tell me all the repairs the sellers were working on. I politely asked her, “Why didn’t you just wait until all the repairs had been completed before putting it on the market?” She said, “Well we are getting close to summer and they wanted to get it on the market.” I thought to myself, “That’s exactly the advice you get from a bad agent.”

When working with a bad real estate agent, it’s not always what they do tell you, many times it’s what they don’t tell you. Bad real estate agents don’t tell you that once buyers see a big crack like that in the foundation, they’re just going to walk away. They don’t care that you’re going to fix it and now they have that mental picture in their head of a huge foundation crack. Actually, so do the buyer’s agents and they’ll just sell their buyers another home without taking the risk. This home seller should have waited and prepared their home properly. They’ll likely end up selling for much less money and I personally believe their agent is to blame.

Don’t let your friends and family choose a bad real estate agent. Have them call Ron Henderson at 816-651-9001 and our experienced real estate team will give them some great advice to help their home sell fast and at top dollar.

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