Items Which Can Become Issues Once Under Contract
Here is a quick list of items which have consistently proven to become problems once under contract: from the inspections to the lenders and the insurance companies.
- Roof Age: FHA/VA tend to have more subjective opinions on this. Therefore the roof needs to have a miminium of 5 yrs (or longer) life left in it.
- Roof - Number of Layers: Many city codes, insurance companies, and financial institutions require homes have only 1 layer of roofing materials. In addition to that, a roof can NOT have composition shingles installed over a wood roof.
- Fireplace: Have you had any maintenance done over the years? It is one of those household items everyone seems to forget about! Especially if it is a masonry fireplace. it could be expensive to repair. Cracked flue tiles, shoulders & crowns needing replacement are most typical. Exclusions?
- Items that stay and personal items: Our contracts state any wall-mounted items must stay! If you are wanting to keep any of these items—remove or replace them prior to putting your home on the market: TV mounts, drapery rods, mirrors (especially in baths), chandeliers, decorative shelves. These must be left if they are there when the buyer writes the contract.
- Insurance Claims: If you have had any insurance claims, in other words, did you get paid and were the funds used to replace or repair the items? This MUST be disclosed!
- Bankruptcy, probate, estate, divorce, IRS liens: Any of these items can cause a delay in closing. Please inform us up front so that we can get the title companies involved early on. We can run title work early so that we know the requirements needed to give clear title. Are you current on the existing mortgage payments? Any back taxes owed? Are there any additional loans on the property: ie: Line of Credit, Home Equity Loans that are tied to the house with a credit/debit card?
- Electrical issues: So many of the lenders today—especially for FHA/VA loans, require that the home has a minimium electrical service of 100 amps. Many homes built prior to the late 1960’s had 60 amp service. That will need to be updated for the final loan approval and prior to closing. If there are any piggy back boxes (multiple smaller panels)—those will most likely need to be updated in the electrical panel too!
- HVAC: Many inspections require licensed HVAC service for the furnace & air conditioners. We have found over the years that this often has not been a regular maintenance item for homeowners, so it tends to be required these days.
- Wood Rot: Most homes will have some kind of wood rot appear on the home—even if you have had it taken care of in the past. It just seems to appear easily in this area. Getting it fixed before putting the home on the market makes much more sense.
- Maintaining the home: It is one of those things we all get behind on—everyone has busy lives! It is even more important once the home goes under contract. The contracts states for you, the homeowner, must maintain the property up to closing— and that includes the lawn: keeping it mowed, watered, trimmed etc.
- Radon: In recent years we have been seeing elevated radon levels. I have had quite a few sellers who have had their home checked for radon a year or two earlier and the levels were in the acceptable range. Now, more recently, they are finding they have elevated levels. Radon is something that fluctuates daily, even hourly, as well as seasonally! We have no control over it. So do not fret if you find out that you have elevated levels. That is pretty normal.
- Windows: FHA/VA normally require any broken windows, including storm windows, to be repaired. They could even require the thermopane vacuum seals that have lost their seal be repaired.
Be prepared in advance by knowing what potential issues can arise once you are under contract! We are here to educate you to know what to expect, and to help you get your home ready to sell quickly, for the best price, and with the least disruption to your lives!
Keep in mind that the buyer can take the entire time frame in the inspection period to get you the results of the inspections. Don't sweat it! They are just doing their due dilegence and thinking through the process!
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