In the ideal scenario, a buyer receives a Real Estate Condition Report signed by someone who has owned and lived in the property for several years prior to making an offer. Unfortunately, I often deal with the following less-than ideal scenarios:
- The buyer does not receive the Real Estate Condition Report until after he or she has already agreed to purchase the property.
- The buyer receives a Real Estate Condition Report signed by someone who does not own the property and will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale.
- The buyer receives a Real Estate Condition Report signed by an absentee owner likely ignorant of the property's true condition.
- The property has never been inhabited by anyone, i.e., a spec home.
- The sellers who owned and lived in the property for several years convey the property to a relocation company that completes the Real Estate Condition Report and sells the property (yes, that really happens!).
You might be able to get a great deal on a foreclosed property, a spec home, or a home being sold by the personal representative of an estate. However, that deal won't seem so "great" anymore when you learn that roofers and basement repair contractors don't provide 5-year payment plans. You will have to commit to paying a bank hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next thirty years in order to buy a home, so the true condition of this home should be absolutely critical to your decision. Do yourself a favor and insist on receiving a Real Estate Condition Report signed personally by all owners of the property and all persons familiar with the property's condition before you make your offer!