My Fools Mistake of Buying Without a Broker
This is a funny story, in the sense that it’s ironic. This is my story, my learning lesson and the jokes on me.
I bought a house this spring… yah! It was a fixer-upper in the well sought after Pointe-Claire Village.
I bought it for $258K from the bank and planned on dumping about $200K into it. This was also a bank repossession and sold by a realtor for the bank. I decided to buy it without being represented by a colleague. I figure, well, hey!, I’ve been a realtor for the past 11 years, I know what I’m doing. Besides, I can negotiate my commission off the selling price. The story starts out great. Lots of excitement, negotiating, accepted offer, and the deal is solid… and then shit hits the fan.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that buyers and sellers lose their minds to their emotions. It happens to all of us. I’ve seen solid business people turn to mush while selling their own homes, where logic slips out the window. We want the deal so bad, that we forget, or opt-out, of asking questions and follow a sequence that is in our best interest. In my case, with a repossession, the bank makes you sign an Annex A, which basically removes all your rights to protect yourself in the sale in the case of an irregularity and other detailed facts. So if the certificate of location shows something off, for example, you are stuck with it. There are ways around it before hand, however, like I said… mush and ‘want what you want’ scenario.
So first thing, there was a lot of interest on the property. We had to act fast. We put in an offer without an inspection. We were gutting the whole place anyway, so what was the point? We found out later, the point was that there wasn’t any footings to the foundation. A broker would have cautioned me and made me get an inspection. Adding footings is a $50K job… just sayin’. We decided to go for it, because we didn’t want the house slipping into the ground over time. On the upside we took advantage of the work and gained 14″ of more ceiling space in the basement.
Second, you buy without seeing a certificate of location and you also remove your rights in the Annex A to renegotiate or back out of the deal if you don’t like what you see. Once we bought and received the certificate of location, we realized that we lost 4′ of property all along one side. So basically we lost 400 square feet of visual property. If I had a smart realtor, they would have insisted on putting in a clause to make a notary check the certificate of location before I accepted it and to give at least a week or so time delay to do this. I was in such a rush to buy and excited that I didn’t think about this. Honestly speaking, if I was representing a client, I would have insisted on putting this in.
These are the two major factors that happened to my husband and I. There were a few more little things, however this made the largest impact. I saved about $6500 in commission by not paying a realtor, however we ended up spending and losing much more.
In the end though, I did the house up right and am very happy. This is a long term investment for me and my husband, so it’s not so bad. Short term, it would have killed our bottom line. In hindsight we should have hired a colleague and went from there. The joke is that I’m always preaching to people how important it is for someone to have your back. That no matter what you spend on a realtor,it will always… always, pay off. Well, I guess the jokes on me.
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Don’t feel STRESSED… you have an expert on your side, holding your hand, helping and supporting you 100% of the way. You are important. Your issues are important… and no, you are not crazy. Real estate investments can be a stressful undertaking.