In a recently aired rerun of the TV classic, Leave It To Beaver, I was tickled by one of the interactions between Wally and his younger brother Beaver. Beaver was distressed because he was soon to take an intelligence test at school. Because of his poor grades the” Beav” was worried that he would be labeled less- than-intelligent. His experienced older brother Wally was trying to console him by sharing a simple example of the type of questions he might encounter on the intelligence test. Wally explained, “They show you a picture of a house and ask a question like, Does this house have a chimney?” Beaver says, “Wally, how would you tell?” Wally sarcastically replied, “Beaver, if you can’t tell if a house has a chimney, you shouldn’t even be walking around!”
Wally’s reply left me giggling, partially because it reminded me of similar silly interactions between me and my younger brothers but mostly because it reminded me of the common sense things that some buyers miss when they look at a house. It seems that common sense has gone out the window!
In a recent case, a disgruntled buyer had purchased a property that showed a photo in the listing that was intended to portray the general area that the property was located and its beauty. After closing, the cranky buyer unsuccessfully tried to use that photograph to prove the listing broker had lied because they had promoted a “view of the river,” even though none of the print ads or listing information contained even a whisper of that idea. This was disturbing to me simply because I was appalled at the lack of common sense. One visit to the property was all it would take anyone to ascertain the lack of a river view, yet the buyer chose to write an offer and close on the deal, and then cried foul, knowing full well it did not have a view.
Often buyers use such common sense issues to kill a deal, such as a real property defect. Those defects are usually in plain view, such a well worn roof, cracked siding or broken windows, yet buyers wait until the home inspection is done to walk away from the deal, causing the seller a lot of grief. Why did they write the offer in the first place? Or why would they not include in their offer contingencies that would deal with these obvious issues up front? Come on folks, “if you can’t tell if a house has a chimney, you shouldn’t even be walking around!”