The Nitty-Gritty of Bidding Dry Rot Repairs
In the time that we have performed termite inspections in the great Sacramento area, we have seen many different landscapes of the Real Estate market. Since our business is really predicated on the buying and selling of homes we often find ourselves in situations that could potentially have a multitude of outcomes and, in turn, generate a multitude of reactions and/ or feelings. In my time in the business I have learned one thing for absolute certain about real estate- no transactions are ever the same- from the easy ones to the downright ugly, nasty ones- they are all unique. I refer to them as snowflakes.
We recently found ourselves in the middle of a transaction that was teetering on the verge of being a nasty one. We did an inspection representing a buyer for a property- we typically do all that we can to stay away from the details of the transaction and provide a thorough inspection for the client and offer our findings and expertise to provide them information that they can then use to proceed in the purchase process, negotiate the process or walk away from the deal. It was brought to our attention on this particular inspection that there had been some serious, tough negotiating on the front end of this purchase and that the findings in our report would carry a lot of weight if they were extensive. For the most part, compared to some of the properties that we inspect, this one was pretty “clean,” meaning that we did not have many findings and most of them were very straight forward repairs- except for one.
One of the findings was to the front door- it had dry rot in the jamb portion and also in the heel of the door itself. Typically this is a pretty straight forward repair recommendation as were the others on this property, but this was a custom door. Custom wood members can pose a real problem when negotiating for obvious (well, obvious to people who work in our field everyday…) reasons. Here was the rub- As far as the seller of the home was concerned- the door was more than functional, it (probably) had years of life left in it, and they saw no reason to spend money to repair or replace it. on the other hand, the client who had us inspect it wanted a whole new door- they didn’t want to purchase a home with a door that was “rotting away” (their words- not ours). And here we were, stuck in the middle. Our inspector relied on his years of experience, he did all that he could to stay out of the negotiation process and offered two recommendations. One that would satisfy each side (buyer and seller). To the seller he offered a cost effective approach that would neutralize the fungal growth and repair the damaged wood members of the door. To the buyer he offered to replace the custom door. Replacing custom doors is challenging, with that said we offered a bid to do complete the work for this as well.
In the end they two sides were able to come to an agreement on the repair of the current door- for us it was a win- win solution. We were able to reply on our experience, offer a variety of recommendations and ultimately keep the deal moving forward- in many cases there are opportunities to look at solutions differently- its our goal to provide solutions that ultimately work for both sides of the transaction.