Thursday, November 02, 2006

Deferred maintenance

Recently I had the opportunity to sell a home in Anacortes that had quite a lot of growth around it. I made the call to my buyers that first and foremost this home needed to be groomed. The plant material was overgrown and in direct contact with the siding and the roof. There were even places where the plants were growing into the siding. The mature landscaping was not ugly, but did threaten the well being of the home.
Undeterred, my clients went ahead and made an offer on the home. After a little haggling it was accepted and we pressed on toward inspections. The home inspector came to the same conclusions as I did. Trim back the shrubs!!! Now here's where things got wierd. We called for the sellers to cut back all of the vegetation a minimum of six inches from the home. Sellers agreed, but warned of a few plants that might suffer permanent damage from the pruning. Buyers got anxious and were no longer keen on trimming things back. Sellers did the bare minimum, buyers checked it out and were satisfied.
Now, I am not a botanist, arborist, or gardener. These matters are like trying to understand why my wife needs so many shoes. I drove by the house the other day. The new owners not only trimmed things back, but it looked like they completely removed the plants that they previously had been so concerned about preserving. Ah, the rights and pleasures of home ownership.
I can even recall a deal where the sellers insisted on writing up an addenda that allowed them to come back to the property after closing, and harvest their green beans from their garden. And they say that we don't deserve or earn our commissions.


Jerry Campbell said...

Hey Andrew,

Good post...seems like I've had the same situation about 5-10 times in my 14 years in the business. I'ts funny how that 6" range seems to permeat the business as if i'ts written down somewhere in some inspectors guideline.

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