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Power Questions 2 and 3: The Handy Man Special

Last month we addressed the length on market and why that is a power question. This month we are going to address the subject of renovations, repairs, and maintenance of the property. Something I refer to as The Handy Man Special. There are two specific questions but as you will see, the power questions are directly related. As we pointed out last month, we can ask these questions at an open house but remember the agent is there to speak with everyone not just you. Remember to approach the questions in a polite and conversational manner, not as an interview or interrogation. You can always ask your agent to get the answers for you.

Have there been any recent renovations or repairs?

Why is this a power question? It will highlight any areas of the house that may require a little more of an inspection. If there have been any renovations or repairs, take a closer look at them to see the quality of the work. Don’t be afraid to ask them who the work was done by – and do your research on the company that did the work. Ask if there are any transferable warranties on the work done or materials/products. If their uncle, friend or if they did the work themselves, be a little more cautious. Problems can be easily hidden until they become large problems and by that time the seller is long gone.

Are there any required repairs or maintenance issues?

Why is this a power question? It will inform you of any areas of concern and prepare you for upcoming costs that could be significant or reoccurring. When you are walking around a property, look for any noticeable defects. These would be referred to as a “Patent Defect” – one that is easily identifiable upon a reasonable inspection. Any home inspector will find a patent defect. Technically, YOU should be able to find any patent defects. Because they are easily noticeable, sellers and their agents do not need to disclose them. “Latent Defects” are those that are not easily identifiable upon a reasonable inspection and sellers and their agents must disclose them. So ask.

This does not in any way replace the requirement for a qualified home inspection. Get a qualified home inspection.

By asking these two questions, you are discovering any areas of the home that have been changed since the original build. Make sure you look a little closer at these areas. You want to find any areas of concern before purchasing the house. Asking these power questions referred to as the Handy Man Special, may save you thousands of dollars, headache and heart break when it comes to buying your next home.

To read the rest of the Power Questions, you can find them here:

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