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30 Mar 2017
Buying a home is no small matter these days. I’m using the phrase “no small matter” like the Vikings used it. In the movie The 13th Warrior starring Antonio Banderas, his Viking friends used the phrase “no small matter” to describe situations that rose to the level of life threatening. If something was a small matter, while it would be a major matter for you and me today, the Vikings were extraordinarily tough, and it took a lot for them to call something “no small matter.”
The truth is that buying a home is no small matter these days. There are several reasons I say that. First, the extensive legal documents required today are almost overwhelming for most buyers and sellers. Did you know that when Realtors draft your offer with all the addendums and legal language, they are held to the same standard as licensed lawyers? That’s true, but unfortunately 99% of Realtors have no legal experience.
Second, the negotiating skills required today are head and shoulders above the simple days of the past. You negotiate not just price, but a lot of terms now, including various “what if” scenarios. Third, as a buyer, you are obligated to do your own due diligence on the property you want to buy. The list of due diligence items are beyond the scope of this brief article, but this is where expertise is really needed. Today with all the complexities and liabilities of buying and selling real estate, you cannot afford not to have an expert in your corner.
I sold a home recently to a wonderful couple, but they decided to terminate after the well inspection and the home inspection were completed. Why? They got some “expert” advice from an uncle. He told them the well was shallow and didn’t produce enough water. Oh my Gosh! The well actually was 70 feet deep, the water level was at 46 feet, and the well produced 24 gallons per minute. This well produced enough water to supply six to 10 homes! And the depth was typical of thousands of wells in the area. That same person told them to watch out for a property with both a septic system and a well, because he said the well can get polluted by the drainfield. What? That’s so untrue in the Sequim area, I won’t even go into the reasons why that is an incredibly naive statement.
Unfortunately, the buyer relied on someone else’s advice, and they terminated the transaction, which they were entitled to do. Within a couple of days, I sold the same property for $10,000 more and when these prior buyers found out they had gotten bad advice, the wife told me she was very disappointed they terminated the transaction. Now they can’t find another suitable home.
Look, there are many people who become experts when you ask them a question. When you’re sick, everyone’s a doctor. When you’re buying a home, everyone is a real estate attorney and Realtor all wrapped up in one person. Relatives who know just enough to be dangerous are generous with their free advice.
Here’s my point in this article. Find a real estate expert and hire that person. Then, and only then, find your home and make an offer. That’s the correct order, if you want to protect your hinny and make wise decisions. That does not mean you should hire a real estate attorney to represent you. Attorneys know very little about buying and selling real estate. I know that because I was a real estate attorney for 20 years, but I started in real estate sales before my legal career, and now I’ve come full circle back to my first love, real estate sales. Neither should you hire the first Realtor you talk to on the phone, a bad habit that 85% of buyers practice all over the U.S.
Do your due diligence when you hire someone for your own protection and so you can make wise decisions for yourself and your family. You want an expert in the local real estate market, and you want someone who is good at negotiating, contracts, due diligence issues, and all aspects of buying a home in the Sequim real estate market. It wouldn’t hurt if your Realtor had been a real estate attorney, right? That doesn’t mean you have to hire me, but then again . . . why wouldn’t you? LOL
Buying a home today is no small matter. Make sure you get good advice.
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