Last week, I took some clients to visit a property they'd seen driving by. Perfect location. Once they visited, they fell in love with the place. Not a problem. The place had a great feel from the moment we walked in, but it was obvious the windows were going to need to be replaced, soon to be followed by the roof.
This didn't discourage the buyers at all as the property was priced to go.
As we went downstairs to the basement, I realized the vendor had been finishing his basement, putting up drywall as well as a suspended floor up on 2 X 3s and covered in plywood. My buyers were actually quite happy that this would be extra work they wouldn't have to worry about... But my gut was churning...
I explained to my buyers that a building inspection would definitely be needed... that it was wonderful that this vendor was finishing up the basement but at the same time, he may very well be covering up problems that would only be detected after the sale. We could no longer see the condition of the foundation floors or walls. I thought it was a bit strange that he was investing so much in his basement when so many other major renovations were needed. The basement was simply a case of esthetics.
Sunday, we decided to go for a second visit as my buyers really had their hearts set on this property. The upstairs visit was great... However, when we headed downstairs to the basement, we were hit in the face by a thick scent of mold, humidity and wet dog. Not pleasant.
As we walked around, a trace of water was clearly visible under an unfinished doorframe. My buyers and I looked at it and I told them that at this point, there was no way of knowing the extent of the water inflitration or damage. I walked to the other end of the room and looked down at the suspended floor. Water was seeping out between the plywood panels with my every step! Which meant I was walking over about 5 inches of water!!
I went upstairs to let the vendor know that he had major water infiltration in the basement. He looked up at me slowly, without getting up, and said: "Really? Well, that's the first time that's ever happened."
Realtors have a sixth sense; take one with you when visiting properties.
Sylvie Brault, realtor - Century 21 Réalisation - 53, rue du Pont, Bedford, Qc., J0J 1A0 - www.sylviebrault.com - cell: 450-521-0018 - Fax: 450-248-9099