What’s the radon level in the building where you live today? What about at your office where you spend at least a third of your every day? About 20 hours of every 24 are spent in these two places, and not once has the typical home buyer tested these environments for radon gas. And yet, the typical home buyer includes a radon test in their Offer to Purchase. Radon gas is everywhere. Every house has radon gas. The EPA has established no safe level of exposure to radon gas. After remediation the radon gas level still will not be zero.
Consider this: There is no contingency that you will get financing. There is a contingency to get a commitment letter, but that could be gotten before you leave home to shop for houses. What’s a defect? A typical home has “defects” as defined in the Offer. The typical concession after an inspection, in even the most expensive homes, amounts to pennies relative to the purchase price. And still almost every offer includes a contingency to inspect and find no defects. Neighborhood restrictions are typical. If they might prohibit something you want to do, you could discover this before you spend any time looking for a home in that neighborhood. And yet, there it is included in Offers to Purchase.
Why are these contingencies loaded into Offers? They’re there for the benefit of the buyer, and by benefit I mean exit door. A contingency allows a buyer time to decide if they want to buy, and time to continue or restart negotiations. A contingency is advantage buyer. For every condition a contingency has been created, a resolution prior to making the Offer is possible. The resolution is always knowledge and understanding. A prepared home buyer is the buyer all owners want to be in business with. Being prepared is easy when you know what to prepare for.
This spring you may buy a house. If you’re prepared your chances of owning your first choice home will increase dramatically. Between now and then, get yourself fully pre-approved for financing, study up on radon gas, how a real test is conducted, and the cost of remediation. Get the facts on lead paint. Learn the cost of repairs you know you can’t afford. Review your contract strategy with your attorney.
The typical home buyer will wait until they have an accepted Offer to do their due diligence. The typical buyer loads their Offer with contingencies, and contingencies tell owners “This person isn’t prepared”. Given a choice, owners will accept offers from people who are most prepared and show their preparedness by loading their Offer with assurances, not contingencies.