Profile picture for giant9501

How low should my offer be?

  If I was to put an offer in on a house that may have water damage to the garage, would I be out of line to ask that the price to repair this issue be deducted from the asking price?

If I saw a pest trap outside of the home, How can I find out if this is an issue?  I toured the house and did not see evidence of the pests in question,
  • August 05 2014 - US
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Answers (6)

Profile picture for ShawnChenRE

It definitely sounds like you should seek a local real estate professional for advice on this question.  You actually have several questions in there.

The first step, I think, is to secure a copy of any available property inspections and disclosures from the seller.  You should, and have a right to fully understand what you are getting into before you make an offer.  In most areas, even after you make an offer you're able to do inspections and your own investigations of the property condition.

Next, get any and all inspections you feel you need, but at the very minimum get Pest/termite inspection, general property inspection, and a roof inspection.  Usually the property and termite/pest guys will crawl all over the property (if they're good) and get themselves dirty, so you don't have to.

Look over the report and you can always adjust your offer accordingly.  But, here's where things can get tricky.  Getting reductions from the seller will depend on your local market, so definitely consult a local realtor.  Sometimes you might be in such a hot market that buyers don't care about the property condition and will move forward with the plan to fully renovate.  That means, you may not have the advantage in negotiations.  Other times, the seller is desperately needing to sell and not getting enough activity in the market place.  You might be in a very strong position to negotiate.

As to the specifics of how things can be negotiated and specific time periods/contingencies in your offer, definitely seek a local realtor for help.

  • August 06 2014
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The first question should be "Does the asking price take the damage into consideration already?
Have your Realtor do a CMA on the property to see if it is priced at market value or if it is less than market value because of the damage.

You should do your deductions from market value. Not asking price.

If you get your offer accepted, you should have a inspection period where you can go over the house with an inspector and any repair people you like to evaluate all the possible issues. This can be a period of re-negotiation.
  • August 06 2014
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I would suggest you contact a local Realtor to assist you on this matter. You can always offer what you would like to however that does not mean that you will get the house. Once an offer has been accepted you have an inspection period to check out the house. This includes a full inspection with licensed home inspector. You can also have a contractor look at the house for you to inspect for possible water damage. During your inspection period you can either back out of the deal if there is problem or ask the seller for the cost to complete the repairs. Good Luck!
  • August 05 2014
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You can offer whatever you like, but the question is do you really want that house?? 

Water damage goes deeper than what can be seen visually, so there could be way more damage than what you are seeing in the garage.  Black mold is nothing to mess around with. 

The same goes for pests.  Mice and rats do not typically run around in broad daylight advertising that they are present.  A home inspection is 100% necessary for that house. 
  • August 05 2014
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A seller's disclosure and home inspection should answer most of these questions.  It is not uncommon for buyers to request repair of damage or credit to make the repairs as part of an offer. 

Good luck!

  • August 05 2014
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Both questions trigger the recommendation to put an inspection contingency into the offer. Include a pest inspection, include inspection of the putative water damage.     If it indeed has water damage and does need repair, then you can negotiate that with the inspection results in hand. 
  • August 05 2014
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