Our next-to-last category of sellers are the non-distressed owners who do not and have not (at least recently) occupied the homes they offer for sale.
These may be landlords or they may be heirs, but in either case, they won’t provide you with a property condition disclosure because they have not occupied the house. They may fill out as much as they know – but they don’t always know enough to be useful to you.
Thus, for these homes you’ll have to rely on the expertise of your home inspector.
There is no way to generalize about what to expect regarding the condition of these homes. Some landlords are diligent in repairing every little thing while others won’t spend the money unless the tenants threaten to call the health department.
Likewise, some inherited properties have been well maintained while others have seen years of neglect. Some heirs will make the repairs and renovations before offering a house for sale while others just want to sell “as-is” and get it over with.
One advantage is that the majority of these sellers aren’t emotionally attached to the houses, and will be willing to negotiate with you. The homes may be listed at the bottom end of market value in order to prompt a quick sale.
One drawback in dealing with inherited properties is that there may be multiple sellers who will have to agree to the price and terms. Even if one person is the executor of an estate and has the legal authority to make decisions, that person may feel morally obligated to include all other heirs in the decision-making. That can add a little uncertainty to the transaction, and you may need to allow extra time for decision-making on the seller’s side.
You just might find a good bargain in this category – without having to deal with the whims of a bank’s asset manager or short sale negotiator.
Get in touch when you’re ready to begin the search!
P.S. One to go… next time we’ll talk about purchasing a brand-new home from a builder or developer.