A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Selling our Previous Home, Part I

It’s finally over! We closed on our old house yesterday, and it went off without a hitch. We pre-signed everything so we didn’t have to be present at the closing. Our lawyer prefers it that way because the buyer could start whining about something where we’d feel compelled to give up more money. This way he says he can be the bad guy, which he relishes. Ya gotta love lawyers when they’re on your side.

Back in January and before we put our old house on the market we hired a home inspector to go over our house. We fixed a lot of potential issues and hoped that the things we didn’t fix wouldn’t be a problem, but at least we were aware of what might come up. I would say that spending $300 for that was worth it.

The buyer’s inspection report came back with only six “problems”, some of which were easily fixed:

  • Tree branches touching house. We trimmed them.
  • Basement door missing. We chose to remove it and store it, so we said we would rehang it.
  • Basement toilet not connected. Wrong, it is connected, but because we have overhead sewers, it is an “up-flushing” toilet. It’s not the greatest toilet (in fact I hated that toilet), but it’s functional and the inspector just didn’t pull the chain hard enough.
  • Two screens missing in kitchen. We had one screen stored in the basement, and had a new screen made for the other one at our local Ace Hardware.

The two other things were a little trickier:

  • Two repaired cracks in foundation. That’s what the buyer listed as a “problem”, but didn’t state what they expected from this. Okay, yes, there are 2 repaired cracks. They are repaired. What more do they want? The inspection report also stated that cracks appear dry. So what’s the problem?? Our response was that there are no leaks in the basement, which there aren’t, and therefore there is no problem to fix here.
  • Garage roof is old and needs to be replaced. That was the other statement. Yes, it was plain to see by anyone that the garage roof is old and worn, and I believe that was reflected in their purchase price. The inspector did not say that he found evidence of leaks or any problem with the roof, and our response was that we also have no experience with leaks, therefore the roof still has functional life and there is no problem to fix.

I was afraid that the buyer was just trying to weasel more money out of us. We didn’t hear anything back about our response to their list of problems, so I was starting to get really worried that the deal was going to fall through (probably a little irrational to think that a buyer would just walk away if we didn’t replace the garage roof, but hey, I was stressed, okay?). In the end, they turned out to be non-issues. When they did their final walk-through they really didn’t even look to make sure that we corrected what we said we would.

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