Tag Archives: seller

Gas water heaters in manufactured homes and inspectors…

A couple of days ago I wrote about a problem I was having with an inspector.   It wasn’t the one I usually use.  The basic problem is that the inspector did not seem to understand about code for manufactured homes.  This created quite a problem and a lot of stress on the seller, the buyer and the real estate agents.  When I called him I told him it was a mobile home in a park and he indicated that would be fine.  Well it just wasn’t.

He carefully brought my buyer, her mom and grandparents and explained that there was no gap between the top of the water heater and the pipe.   He went on to explain that this wasn’t to code and was dangerous.  This was very upsetting to the seller who had her inspection report from 2004.  I found that confusing so I decided to investigate on Monday.  First thing I found the unit for sale in a couple of places.  I  emailed the inspector with the link and asked him if the code could be different.  He admitted that he didn’t do very many of these things so I should call a plumber.  Later he called a a guy from roto rooter and he basically stood his ground.  The AC guy came to fix the air conditioner and looked at the water heater and said it was just fine.  This is exactly the way it is supposed to be and it’s to code.  Because I am thorough (anal) I called Champion and they indicated this was as it should be.  I also called my plumber and he came up with the same thing and gave me a  lesson in water heaters for manufactured homes.  This water heater is to code.  To have a gas fired water heater in a manufactured home you need one that is approved for a manufactured home. If we did what the inspector wanted us to do we would have ruined the system and made the water heater dangerous.

Just in case you want to know the water heater takes the air from below and it is called a self contained system.  They cost around $800 new instead of $400 new.  You can convert to electric when it breaks and avoid the whole problem.


Now this puts me in a bad position because I recommended this inspector then basically had to get other opinions.  I have homes inspected to make sure they are safe and sound.  I am now in a position that I gave an opinion that I am not qualified to give after consulting and I have obtained written documentation from experts.  Our buyer was upset.. The sellers were upset.. My partner and I were upset..

The lesson I learned was when you have a different type of home it is important to ask if they do enough of these homes to inspect them.  My inspector created at least 10 extra hours for me.  I also suspect some other problems he pointed out might have something to do with it being a manufactured home.

Contingent short sale? What is it?

So we know a short sale is when the seller owes more then the house is worth….. So the third party the lender needs to approve or even renegotiate the deal….. We have all seen this…..


So the short sale listing gets an offer the buyers and the sellers come to terms….. Now the package is sent to the bank… If the buyer and seller are lucky the bank has given the listing agent an idea where the house should be listed…. More likely they told the agent they wouldn’t talk until the agent had an offer….

At this stage the sale is marked as a contingent short sale… The sale is contingent on the bank agreeing to the terms or renegotiating the contract.  The bank can take as long as they want….They never seem to care what the timeframe of the offer is…. The classic question of the buyer is when can we move in?  The answer is 30 days to never.   All rules of ethics seems to go out in a short sale situation.  Unless the listing agent sets rules position doesn’t matter very much…If more offers are sent to the bank they just reject the lower offer no matter when it comes in…   The sale is still active in the multiple listing service (CSS) but venders like Zillow don’t seem to have this information… Also some buyers are insistant on seeing them… Once in while you get the news that they welcome backup offers because the buyer is about to walk…Or the offer is to low….

I ask my buyer why would you want to look at a contingent short sale?  It’s mostly like a pending without bank approval… During the time the a property is a contingent short sale everyone waits…. No money is spent and all timelines are suspended while bank approval is sought..  The bank will either say yes, no or renegotiate…. Often the bank will let the home go to foreclosure (especially if the offer is low)…

Many times a buyer walks (they actually do want to buy something) and the agents lists the home as active and seeks another buyer to slip into the spot.  These are better for the new buyer because the process is started…

If you need to settle a deal quickly it important to stay away from most short sales and contingent short sales…Once in a while the buyer walked as the bank came back… Those are the safe short sales to buy in a timely manner…Your real estate agent knows the lingo to indicate that a short sale can settle quickly.

After the bank comes to terms with the buyer and the seller the listing status changes from contingent short sale to pending…. I hope this helps…

  Debbie Holmes

Gold Key Real Estate     Company logo

(208)761-2551 Email: d5holmes@msn.com

To search Boise Homes visit my website

Preparing for an Open House


open house signSome agents like open houses…. Some don’t….  It probably depends on how busy you are and if it is safe to hold the open house….   I know people who try to make it into a party.  I know some that have heavy print advertising.  I know an agent that will spend all weekend at a listing.

Well here is what I do….

Well the first thing to consider is your client.  Do they want you to do an open house?  Some find it intrusive.  When is it convenient for them?  After all it is all about them! The next thing look at your schedule.  When is it convenient for you?  How often have you opened the house?  Why? If you are does someone in your office want to cover it?  I had an agent who wanted an open house but had no listings…It worked out great for both of us.  Next I want to make sure that the Boise State Bronco’s aren’t playing over the open house… When the game is on 1/2 of Boise and the Treasure Valley is watching.   So I have picked a time… This one is Sunday 1-4 PM.

The current house I am opening I like to open because I am not allowed to have pointer signs unless someone is at the house.  This is really very annoying.  I actually think it is one of the reasons I haven’t sold the home.  I also usually get several groups through and I have picked a buyer or two…  The  last house I have pending the buyers came for the second time at the open house:).  I was able to answer a lot of questions and a week later had an offer. 

1) I assume the home is ready to show.

2) Advertise anywhere you can and as cheaply as you can. I advertise in the local paper (we have a deal for line ads that makes them almost free)… Sometimes I do a spotlight ad but they don’t work much better and cost $80 for the weekend..I use craigslist, zillow, mls, trulia, activerain and facebook….I want as many people to know this house is open. 

3) Check the house ahead of time (if vacant).  Make sure there are no sup rises or odors.

4) Make flyer’s and make sure you know the other homes for sale in the area.  The guests like that information.  Today I made 5 sets of the 12 other active homes in the large Boise subdivision I am in.

5) Dress nicely…First impressions mean a lot.

6) Bring something to do for those quiet times… I find I am much more willing to sit an open house if I have an Internet connection.

7) Place your open house signs to drive visitors. Sometimes I use balloons….I think I will today…I have the time to get them if I have the time to blog.

8) Park a little away from the home so the visitors can park.

9)  Go in the home open the lights turn up the heat or turn down the air conditioner. 

10) I used to bake cookies but sometimes that backfires and I burned them when I got busy.  Now I light a candle.


Sold Sign





  Debbie Holmes

Gold Key Real Estate     Company logo

(208)761-2551 Email: d5holmes@msn.com

To search Boise Homes visit my website

Question about price reductions for my fellow Realtors?

QuestionFinally my sellers are ready to lower their prices….Maybe I will be able to make their properties move…. 

Question — Should I reduce the price all at once for the maximum drama? Or should I split up the price reduction for a lengthier presentation?  If so how would you split up the reductions?  One  reduction will be $10,000 with the new price at $169,900.  The other reduction will be $5000 with the new price of $144,900.  Thanks for the imput!

New price

In my market the price change shows as a new status change for 3 days.  These listings are getting elderly and I am getting concerned about whether I will sell them. 

105 BridgewaterClick for info     722 S. Pearl, Boise ID 83705 Click for info

I know it’s a short sale but…….

I just took my buyers into a home….I called the listing agent and she informed me that the seller was taking the dishwasher…..I know they do sometimes but when you see it there you expect it to be there…..I suggested that she had better put that it excludes the dishwasher since most people would expect it stay since it was there….I talked about agents who had to supply appliances…  I suggested that she excludes the dishawasher…Oh well we want to see the home…..I should have been suspicious when the pictures were from the last sale 1.5 years ago….


We walked in and the house reeked of cat urine….There was also some cat poop right in the living room….The house was absoultely filthy….The cat itself was adorable but obviously not well behaved…They had a sex book out on a dresser or table… Basically the home was in not at all showable condition.  Now the seller is moving by Dec. 1….It makes me wonder why the listing agent didn’t wait until they left and did the rugs….The price was OK but not great….The house itself might be OK but my buyers were grossed out…


Remember first impression mean a lot in our business.  This house was as bad as any rental I have seen when the tenant is being obnoxious.  I don’t gross out easily but I was disturbed…Guess which house we didn’t write an offer on?