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The Q Ball Express




Real Estate Questions Answered Here
by Art Santellen, REALTOR®

Note: I'd like to apologize to my readers. The last two weeks I've been ill with my 3rd cold of the season. On a more positive note, it's el Cinco de Mayo! I hope to visit with all of you at the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta to be held this year at Memorial Park on Sunday, May 6th. I'll be in the booth sponsored by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. We expect to have a drawing for a television and other neat stuff. You'll also get a chance to practice your golf swing at our booth for more chances to win that television. Finally, you'll be able to talk about real estate with real estate professionals who care about you. Yes, we'll even discuss credit issues and how much money you need to save to buy a home of your own. Please plan on coming by our booth. I look forward to meeting you.

Q: I want to sell my home, "as is". Can I still get top dollar for my home?

A: No. Of course not. Real estate agents that advertise properties like yours use the terms: fixer-upper needs TLC, home to be sold "as is". These are red flags to all other real estate agents that these homes are in less than perfect physical condition. It also tells us that sellers of homes in this poor condition are less likely to want to fix something that needs fixing.... even if the buyer insists on getting it fixed. In your example, you have a drain pipe leaking in the crawl space. Most buyers' agents will recommend that their client obtain the services of a professional home inspector (by the way, we'll have a home inspector at our Cinco de May booth). The home inspector will tell the buyer that your home has a plumbing problem that needs the attention of a plumbing contractor. The buyer of your home will ask (on a form prepared by his agent) that you fix the leaking drainpipe. Your options, as a home seller, are to tell the buyer to jump in the lake; you're not fixing a thing. Or, you can tell the buyer that you'll split the cost of fixing the drainpipe. Or, you can tell the buyer that you'll fix the plumbing problem and tack on the cost of the repairs to the sales price. Or, you can tell the buyer you'll fix the plumbing problem, at your sole cost, just to keep the deal alive and on track to close.

There is one other seller option. You can fix the things that need fixing before you place the property on the market. That's the option I recommend for all my seller clients.

Q: I'm buying a home that had an additional bathroom installed. My home inspector tells me the toilet was not installed properly. What can I do?

A: With all my sincere respect for home inspectors, I encourage you to get a professional plumber to look at the bathroom installation. The plumber will tell you if a problem really exists. If the plumber agrees with your home inspector, then get an estimate of the costs to replace or repair the bathroom problem.

Your Realtor will then be able to advise you if you should ask the seller to absorb part or all of the cost of the repairs. Use the plumbers WRITTEN estimate to determine the cost of the needed repairs.

Q: I'm under contract to buy a home. My home inspector says the furnace heat exchanger is cracked and that the furnace needs to be replaced. The seller had a furnace guy check the furnace and he says the heat exchanger is not cracked. Who do I believe?

A: The furnace guy. But be sure that the furnace contractor puts his opinion on the serviceability of the furnace in writing. If the furnace really does have a cracked or broken heat exchanger, you and your attorney may be able to file a claim against the furnace guy.

Another thing you could do is to ask a furnace guy of your choosing to examine the furnace and give you his opinion. I don't want to imply that professionals would color their opinion based on who's paying them, but I have come across situations where that's the implication. For example, I've had a perfectly reputable furnace contractor tell me the furnace in a home needs to be replaced at a cost approaching $3,000. I've had another furnace contractor look at the same furnace and tell me the furnace just needs a little cleaning and adjusting at a cost approaching $300.

The major messages here are: first, that you should use the home inspection as a starting point to determine if the home you want to buy is satisfactory to you. Second, that you (as a buyer or seller) should use the services of a specialist to determine if something really needs to be replaced or fixed.

Next week, just how fast have home values increased in Colorado Springs?

Remember, if you want to buy or sell your home, use the services of a Realtor®

NOTE: As you can see, I really do get questions from the public. To add your question to this list, please send them to me at the address listed below. Thanks.

The answers to these, and other fascinating real estate questions will be answered here, in Hispania News, next week.

When you're ready to buy or sell a home, see a REALTOR®

Art is a REALTOR® with Heritage Realtors in Colorado Springs.

If you have a real estate question you’d like answered, please send them to:

Art Santellen, care of Hispania News
PO Box 15116
Colorado Springs, CO 80935








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