Common Lazy Builder Mistake: Brick Lintels

In this video our agent Laura Degiovanni discusses a common problem we see on new construction where a builder takes a shortcut that gets past the municipal inspector. It typically doesn’t become a problem until long after the builder is gone, but by saving on $10 worth of materials and a half hour of labor it can cause a problem that can take hundreds of dollars to fix. That problem is unpainted or improperly painted lintels. The steel leaves the factory with a dark red primer. But the building code calls for steel to have a coat of actual paint, not primer, when the home is finished and delivered to the buyer. Fortunately, with the help of various private home inspectors, we’ve been able to get builders to do the right thing and properly paint the lintels. Laura has helped many buyers with the new construction and custom build process. Call us if you would like 100% loyal help with your home buying adventures at 734-662-6240.

Found & Negotiated: Closet Hiss Mystery

We recently helped a luxury condo buyer and during the home inspection the buyer noticed a mysterious hiss sound in the hallway to the master bathroom. Between the buyer’s sensitive ears, the inspector’s curiosity and our thermal imaging camera, we were able to locate the source of the problem the current owner had lived with for the past 5 years. When the original builder installed the closet shelving a worker screwed some of the mounting hardware right through the exhaust line for the high efficiency power vent hot water heater. Once we identified the problem we used these videos to convince the seller and the listing agent of the issue and we were able to get the seller/builder to open up the wall, patch the hole, then patch and paint the wall. If you are interested in having a real estate company work for you with 100% loyalty when you buy your luxury condo give us a call. We would be happy to find out about your needs and how we can help you! 734-662-6240

Found & Negotiated: Problem Chimney in Luxury Home

We had a home inspection of an Ann Arbor luxury home built about 50 years ago. When the inspector was on the roof he discovered a lot of problems with the chimney. It was actually coming apart on all four sides. This was quite a surprise as the seller hadn’t disclosed any problem here. Fortunately we were able to negotiate a repair concession so the buyers could get this repaired after closing.

Our company offers 100% loyalty to home buyers.
Call us at 734-662-6240 to discuss your home buying needs and how we can help you!

Rant Warning: Another Annoying Listing Agent Behavior

As an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent office we show a lot of property.

And, we get opinionated.

And, this month I seem to be running into a lot of listing agents who are happy to tell me over the phone what a wonderful large or deep lot their listing has, but then they are too lazy to provide:

1. A copy of a mortgage report survey or at least some kind of written drawing of the lot and the boundaries. (Even if it is labeled as not exact or estimate, as long as it is what the seller thinks they own it is normally useful.)

2. The lot dimensions. (Tonight I’m showing a home in the city with a reported 1/2 acre lot, but there are no lot dimensions provided. Just a “the home has a deep lot”.

Note to listing agents:

If your listing has a nice lot, get some specifics and share them.  Thank you!

If you are looking to buy a home and you want a real estate company that will always be on your side, in your corner, and looking out for you, call us.

734-662-6240

Jon Boyd Broker/Manager
The Home Buyer’s Agent of Ann Arbor, Inc.
1908 W. Stadium Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

We serve the Ann Arbor – Brighton – Plymouth – Novi – Canton – Ypsilanti areas in Southeastern Michigan.

And we can guarantee that you will never be stuck with designated agency, dual agency, or non-agency.

Broker Weasel Clauses

This year we’ve seen a disturbing trend reappear.

Here is what I experienced at a closing yesterday:

At a closing the title company asked the buyers to sign a hold harmless agreement that stated the buyer will not ever sue the real estate brokers for anything. That is what we call a broker weasel clause. The listing brokers have asked title companies to put that clause in the closing documents to take away a buyer’s rights after closing.
In fact this is re-negotiating the relationship between the buyer and the real estate companies involved.
These weasel clauses show up as parts of other normal closing documents.

There was even one company a few years ago, Greco Title, who wanted the purchaser to indemnify the title company against legal action brought against them buy the seller or others.

We feel this is both crazy and offensive.

The title company should not be re-negotiating the contracts between the buyer and the real estate companies at closing. Most buyers are not prepared to argue these items and it is totally inappropriate for them to have to.

If you as a buyer refuse to sign these inappropriate documents the title company will back down. They have no right to force you to sign that.

In the closing yesterday the title company checked with their legal department after I objected and they were happy to scratch out that paragraph.
Here is example wording from one we saw recently:

“Purchasers hereby relsease the real estate broker and their agents from any claim whatsoever wtih regard to the condition of the herein described premises.”

This issue should have been covered in the purchase contract form or the contract between the real estate broker and the buyer. It has no business showing up at closing mixed in with the dozens of legitimate documents a buyer needs to sign.

And I would be embarrassed if a title company I recommended used one.

Michigan May Have Missed The Poison Chinese Drywall Issue

I’ve posted before about the concern with poison drywall from China. It is a big problem in Florida and a number of other states.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission now has a website devoted to the topic here: Drywall Information Center

And it looks like there have not been problems reported to date in Michigan.

This is very good. Some people are predicting this will be the largest liability issue to hit the country ever.

If you hear of it becoming a problem in Michigan please let us know and send us a link so we can share it here.

If you are looking to buy a home and you want a real estate company that will always be on your side, in your corner, and looking out for you, call us.

734-662-6240

Jon Boyd Broker/Manager
The Home Buyer’s Agent of Ann Arbor, Inc.
1908 W. Stadium Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

We serve the Ann Arbor – Brighton – Plymouth – Novi – Canton – Ypsilanti areas in Southeastern Michigan.

And we can guarantee that you will never be stuck with designated agency, dual agency, or non-agency.

House Officers Getting Bad Information About Mortgages?

It sounds like some incoming physicians doing their residency here have been receiving bad information about available mortgage options. The mortgage market has changed dramatically over the last two years. There are now only about a half dozen zero downpayment mortgage options now where two years ago there were about twice that many. (And they were dramatically more available.)

But, when you are buying a home you only need one mortgage, and if you are a physician here for your residency then relatively easy zero downpayment options are still available.

It will take some preparation and there are some limitations, but in general the Midwest Financial Credit Union is still a good option.

They offer:
Closing before  first paycheck
Zero downpayment
Ignoring student loan obligations in most situations
No PMI (but a higher interest rate to compensate for some additonal risk.)
A  physician friendly application process

Note: These loans are specifically for physicians, so they are not visible on the credit union’s website.

You can reach the Credit Union at 734.769.4621
or https://www.mwfcu.org

Ann Arbor Home Inspector Gets Threat From Real Estate Agent

I heard an interesting story yesterday from a home inspector that works in the Washtenaw County area.

It was about one of those enlightening moments in his career and it happened ten or twelve years ago.

He was at an inspection and he was talking to the home buyer about radon and how it was a suspected carcinogen an how it was prevalent in the area. He also recommended that the buyer have a radon test done on the home.

Later that day after the buyer had left the nice real estate agent came up to him and said something along the lines of: “If you ever mention radon to a home buyer again I’ll have to stop using you.”

That was such a clear instruction, and so anti-buyer, that it made a huge impact on him. At that point he knew he either had to get under the thumb of the real estate industry or build his own referral base totally outside of the REALTOR organization. He chose the latter and he is still in business today.

And, our office is one of the only real estate companies in the market that actively uses this guy.

If you are looking to buy a home and you want a real estate company that will always be on your side, in your corner, and looking out for you, call us.

734-662-6240

The Inspiring Story of Augie Nieto, a Man Who Shares His Gifts

One of the business consultants I get news from has shared this with me. I find it interesting and inspirational.

So, I’m going to share it with you!

Here is a link to a Today Show video about this unusual entrepreneur. I hope you enjoy it and share it:

TODAY SHOW VIDEO ON AUGIE’S STORY

We serve the Ann Arbor – Brighton – Plymouth – Novi – Canton – Ypsilanti areas in Southeastern Michigan. And we can guarantee that you will never be stuck with designated agency, dual agency, or non-agency. We will always be your buyer’s agent!
Call us today at 734-662-6240 to talk about how we can help you achieve your home buying dreams!

Two Little Words That Are Causing a Lot of Frustration for Home Buyers – Procuring Cause

The national association most of the top buyer agents belong to (naeba.org) just posted this press release:

AVONDALE, Ariz., March 31, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — As fewer transactions are split up between a relatively fixed number of real estate agents, those agents are using whatever tools they can to hold on to home buyers, in some cases against the buyer’s will. One of those “tools” is an outdated industry secret called “procuring cause,” and it is frustrating many of today’s home buyers, according to the home buying specialists at the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA).
Procuring cause is an industry term that describes the ability of any agent who showed a buyer a home to claim that they should be paid if the buyer eventually wants to buy that home.
Many buyers get “married” to agents who show them a property without ever knowing it. Charlie and Meg Bear, of Acton, Massachusetts, are like many buyers in today’s market. When they started house-hunting, they went to the Internet. Click … they found a house to see; click … they sent a request to the listing agent. At the second house they saw this way, the agent who showed them the house disclosed that he was a “buyer’s agent.” He was the husband of the listing agent. Charlie did not want a buyer’s agent who was married to the listing agent. “This disclosure is not a contract” was clearly on the form. Meg signed the form; Charlie did not.
Time went by. Charlie and Meg hired Connie LeDuc of Authentic Home Buyers Brokers in Southborough, MA. When they eventually decided to make an offer on that home they saw through the Internet, confusion reigned. The “buyer’s agent” did not want Connie to represent Charlie and Meg on his wife’s listing. The listing agent, his wife, was all for getting this home sold to the Bears, but her husband insisted that he was their “buyer’s agent.” After much negotiation between the brokers, the Bears bought their new home.
“Potential homebuyers who attend open houses or view properties with the listing agent, or a licensee working for the listing agency, may forfeit their opportunity to have full representation,” said John Sullivan, President of NAEBA . “To have 100% representation 100% of the time, homebuyers should have a written agreement with an exclusive buyer’s agent that spells out the duties and obligations of both parties before looking at any home.”
What did Charlie and Meg Bear learn from their experience? “People like us don’t know they should find their agent before they find their house,” says Charlie.
The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents was founded in 1995 to help consumers become educated home buyers. NAEBA is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to be the “champions of real estate buyers’ rights and representation.” NAEBA offers industry standard certifications, ongoing education, client referral services, technology, and information sharing. The NAEBA Code of Ethics pledges undivided loyalty to real estate buyers only. For the name of an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent in your area, visitwww.naeba.org.
SOURCE National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents
When you think about it the idea that a wife can be a seller’s agent and the husband can be a buyer’s agent on the same transaction is a complete scam. Why don’t those licensees admit that they are dual agents or non-agents and stop destroying any confidence that consumers might have in the profession.
Amazing!
If you are looking to buy a home and you don’t want to expose yourself to this kind of nonsense we can help.
We serve the Ann Arbor – Brighton – Plymouth – Novi – Canton – Ypsilanti areas in Southeastern Michigan. And we can guarantee that you will never be stuck with designated agency, dual agency, or non-agency. We will always be your buyer’s agent!
Call us today at 734-662-6240 to talk about how we can help you achieve your home buying dreams!
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