Well…..It finally happened to me. Finally encountered a house so bad that I had to tell my client to walk away from it. My client has used me a couple of times now. He likes to find a good deal, live there for a little bit, and then cash out. That model has us looking at some houses that most other buyers won’t consider, so we tend to see bigger problems than usual. We knew this one had some window issues and a lot of cosmetic stuff when we wrote the offer. After getting it inspected, turns out the furnaces and air conditioner units were also shot as well as the roof. These are things I can normally check before we get to this point by looking at the seller’s disclosure, but where this was a bank owned property, we were really shooting in the dark. Sometimes I can search the history of the house on the MLS and get this info from when it had been listed before……This one had no history! No electricity was on until the inspection and the roof had been covered with snow too.
Since this just didn’t fit my buyer’s model of getting a bargain and doing some sweat equity work, I told him to walk away. I think I floored the home inspector, who told me he had never seen a realtor do that before. He said most of the time realtors always try to sugar coat things to keep the deal glued together. To me, you have to put the results of a home inspection in perspective with your clients goals. If this house could have been bought enough below the potential market value and my folks were totally in love with this place, my advice might have been different. I might have gotten quotes on the work it needed and then negotiated with the seller. In this case, it just simply didn’t fit with my client’s investor mindset.