Real Estate Nightmares #6
When Agents Go Bad.
This post is about real estate sales representatives not giving their client full information to make a decision related to their purchase of a home or condo.
This situation is occurring more frequently with agents who: 1) have been in the business a long time; 2) who are inexperienced; and 3) are not involved in many transactions.
In the GTA (Toronto and vicinity) there are a plethora of condominium buildings. Some have superb construction and others very shoddy construction. As the condos age, issues start to appear.
In the GTA, the most pressing issue besides cheap imported glass on new construction towers, is the issue related to recalled interior piping that was install between 1998 and 2008 – commonly referred to as Kitec. I discussed this in previous posts.
It has been common practice to not suggest nor recommend inspections on condo units, as everything was presumed to be in good working order as the condo was still occupied by residents. This presumption is now starting to come back to haunt both sellers and buyers.
One recent example, that I am aware of, related to an older condo. Though well maintained and upgraded, it still had issues that could have been found and addressed by the buyer prior to firming up the deal.
Clauses are often added to the purchase and sale agreement around such things as securing financing and approving of the balance sheets and condo document (referred to as the status certificate). These are the most common clauses seen in a transition to buy and sell.
With condos, inspections have often not been recommended. I had a personal experience where an inspection was verbally not recommended by an agent and within a year of purchase, an expense in access of $30,000 was incurred.
The rule of thumb now, is be safe not sorry. Little things can be missed by simple walk throughs by the client and their agent. After all agents are NOT home inspectors.
Bottom-line: Pay the extra money up front for an inspection (generally $350-500) It will give you peace of mind and a better knowledge of what you are buying and aspects of the unit that you will need to pay attention to. If you do find a deficiency, getting it corrected prior to buying – is better than finding out after the fact.
For more information on this or other concerns in the buying and selling process, do not hesitate to contact me.