Watch our Buyer Get Keys to her family’s new home

Our client, Ceci, opens the door to her family’s new home for the first time in this video. Watch our client a home buyer get keys:

Thank you to Ceci for documenting and sharing your family’s journey with us. I feel privileged to have you as a client but also as a dear friend. Oh, the memories…!

I can’t wait to be a part of a few beautiful-moments-yet-to-arrive at your family’s awesome new home.

With deep affection,

Matt

PS – This really was an incredible team effort. Thanks to the phenomenal SF mortgage broker team at Opes led by Tracy Andreini and also to a consummate listing agent, Alan Khoo with the JODI Group.

Rainpocalypse 2014

Yesterday was the first day since I’ve had a school aged child that school has been cancelled. I’m fairly certain that if it wasn’t for three years of horrific drought, the hype surrounding our current storm would be a lot, lot less. But hey, we need rain and we finally got some! Below is a little footage (taken mostly out at Ocean Beach) showing our weather on Thursday, December 11 – the day that will go down in infamy as #rainpocalypse.

What you should know about the Buyer Inspection Election (BIE)

The Buyer Inspection Election is used in conjunction with all of the many other inspection disclosures for a buyer to make a record of which inspections they’ve chosen to perform on the property they are purchasing.

// This post is a part of our series: Your Guide to a San Francisco Disclosure Package. //

The Buyer Inspection Election (BIE) is a *general property* disclosure. It contains language that does not vary from transaction to transaction and is not property specific.

Pictured below is the Buyer Inspection Election (BIE). The beginning of the document recounts advice and information that is mirrored in numerous other documents that talk about inspections. The long and short of it is that when making a major investment, doing due diligence is incredibly important, and here are some possible inspections you could have…

Buyer Inspection Election form in California.
Buyer Inspection Election form in California.

If you’ve been keeping track, you’ll note that there are *a lot* of disclosures and disclosure documents that relate to property inspections. For those of you who are familiar with my theory about the origin of disclosure documents, you can quickly surmise what the real estate lawsuits are about.

While the form language suggests that a buyer complete it at the beginning of their inspection period, I’ve never seen it used that way. Why? Because most buyers are smart buyers and want to maximize their knowledge of the property with the minimum expenditure of money. So, most buyers (in SF, at least) start with a general contractor’s inspection. If a general contractor/general home inspection turns up further items for investigation – then buyers generally decide if they want to continue investing in inspections or if they just want to cancel the purchase contract.

The Buyer Inspection Election is a great document for a buyer to confirm the inspections they’ve chosen to have for the property they are buying. In my experience, I’ve only seen this form filled out if the deal is going to close, because if a deal falls apart during inspections there’s really no need to document which inspection contained information that wasn’t acceptable to the buyer.

And while I admire the thinking behind the form, the actual execution of that idea could use some improvement, IMHO.

For example, the form lists square footage, lot size, boundaries, and survey as four different inspections. The general purpose of a survey is to determine lot size and boundaries – so which boxes do you check?

What about an inspection for an issue related to a foundation that involves information about soil stability? Do we check for a soils inspection, or a foundation inspection, or both?

 

What are the differences between a plumbing inspection and a “water systems and components” inspection?

Given that the purpose of this document is to bring clarity to inspection choices, I think it has a lot of room for improvement.

What You Should Know About the Buyer Inspection Advisory

The Buyer Inspection Advisory comes in two flavors: A Buyer Inspection Advisory from the seller to the buyer, and a Buyer Inspection Advisory from the broker to the buyer.  The two documents are almost identical, the only difference is who provides and signs the advisory: a broker or a seller.

// This post is a part of our series: Your Guide to a San Francisco Disclosure Package. //

The Buyer Inspection Advisory is a *general property* disclosure. It contains language that does not vary from transaction to transaction and is not property specific.

Pictured below is the Buyer Inspection Advisory (BIA-A), which includes a line for the property address and is an advisory from the seller to the buyer. The document is a two-page document (at least, as of 2014) and outlines the importance of understanding the condition of the property, the buyer’s rights to investigate, and outlines a long list of potential types of inspections a buyer can obtain. It also reminds buyers of the broker’s and seller’s disclosure duties in a transaction.

BuyerInspection_A_web
Buyer Inspection Advisory: From Seller to Buyer

Pictured below is the Buyer Inspection Advisory (BIA-B) that is almost identical to the BIA-A but the BIA-B comes from the broker instead of the seller. Other than that, the document is almost identical to the other advisory, and again, outlines the various types of inspections a buyer can obtain, the importance of understanding the condition of the property, and a reminder of the broker’s disclosure obligations and the seller’s disclosure obligations.

buyerinspectionB_web
BIA-B: The Buyer Inspection Advisory from Broker to Buyer

There is probably a reason for the existence of the two almost identical but slightly different forms, but since I’m not an attorney I can’t tell you what the reasoning is. Regardless, you can expect to see one of these forms, if not both of them, in a San Francisco disclosure package. If you’ve got a great agent, they’ve already reviewed this information with you and none of it should be new information.

Q3 vs Q4 single family home stats – a deeper dive

Our November 21 newsletter took a look at the condo and single family home market data. This blog post is a deeper dive with additional charts that we couldn’t fit into our newsletter.

Q3 vs Q4 Single Family Home Performance

q3 q4 sfr chart

Q3 vs Q4 – Single Family Homes
q3 q4 sfr ppsf
Q3 vs Q4 – Single Family Homes price per square foot change

 

q3 q4 sfr sales price
Q3 vs Q4 – Single Family Homes sales price appreciation/depreciation

 

Q3 Single Family Home stats

Q3 SFR Chart
Q3 Single Family Home Data
q3 sfr list vs sell
Q3 Single Family Home Data, list vs sell
q3 sfr over under
Q3 Single Family Home Data, final sales price compared to original
q3 sfr price per sqft
Q3 Single Family Home Data, price per square foot
q3 sfr sales by district
Q3 Single Family Home Sales by area

Q4 Single Family Home Data

Q4 SFR chart
Q4 Single Family Home Data
q4 sfr avg price per sqft
Q4 Single Family Home Data, Avg Price per Square Foot
q4 SFR list vs sell
Q4 Single Family Home Data, list vs sell
q4 SFR over under
Q4 Single Family Home Data, sales price compared to list price, %
q4 SFR sales by district
Q4 Single Family Home Sales by Area

What You Should Know About Inspection Scheduling

When purchasing a single family home, one way to understand as much as you can about the property is to have the property physically inspected by a company or individual that specializes in inspecting properties that are being sold. Inspection scheduling in San Francisco is generally done by the buyer’s agent, unless a buyer is relying upon inspections provided by the seller or choosing to purchase the property without a physical inspection.

// This post is a part of our series: Your Guide to a San Francisco Disclosure Package. //

The Inspection Scheduling disclosure is a *general* disclosure. It does not contain information specific to the property in question.

Inspection Information and Scheduling Request - A Sample Disclosure
Inspection Information and Scheduling Request – A Sample Disclosure

The Inspection Scheduling disclosure is a form that we all have a lawsuit (or lawsuits) to thank for. And while that may sound a bit glib, here’s the essence of it all (in my humble opinion).

Real estate transactions are always time sensitive. Even in “soft” markets, sellers always prefer shorter contingencies to longer contingencies. So buyers typically rely on their agent for advice on who to use for an inspection and to get that inspection scheduled within their contingency timeframe. It raises an interesting question though: will a buyer’s agent select a reputable, honest, reliable inspector or will they toss the inspection to a “yes person” that will keep the deal together even if there are major issues with a property?

In my decade plus years of experience, I always recommend the honest, reputable and reliable inspector because while I know I have to make sure my clients perform within the agreed-upon timeframe, I always choose to take a long term view. I want a good inspection, warts and all, because I want my buyers to someday become my sellers and to recommend me to all of their friends, co-workers, and family.

But not every agent takes that view, and some buyers over the years have felt their agent picked the easy, convenient, or “soft” inspector because they were more interested in closing a deal instead of developing a lifetime relationship.

So you can expect to sign a form that will be similar – if not identical – to the above form saying that you can’t hold your agent responsible for choosing an inspector you don’t like if you’ve given them permission to schedule an inspection for you. And as long as a form was created to share that information, they decided to also mention that agents don’t set rates for contractors, and we don’t verify their insurance, if they are bonded, or any of those other details.

What’s your take away? Let your agent know up front what concerns you have about the inspection scheduling and inspection process. Communicating concerns and expectations up-front is by far the best way to avoid problems down the road.