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Wyoming Realtor Warning

Posted 01-27-2019 at 03:34 PM by jdhpa

Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
I've been warning folk on this forum for years about how the practice of Real Estate Sales works differently than what you may have experienced in other states. How it is essential that you must do your own "due diligence" when considering a residential property to buy here.

So here's a typical scenario you might encounter:

Recently, Mrs Sun and I went to a house I'd looked at late last year because it was still on the market. IMO, the asking price was still way over market but I wanted to revisit the property with a view toward making an offer on the property if appropriate to do so.

Suffice to say that the 2bd/2ba house is superficially quite charming, having numerous interior upgrades with a minimal yard size to burden an absentee homeowner. The expansive open space one-level rancher floor plan is well suited to a retired couple with a view towards having company (guests or family members) visit from time to time. There's two sizable brick wall fireplaces which add a great deal of homey comfort and functionality to the place.

Upon our closer inspection, the following presented:

1) The seller touted "mature landscaping" feature has a bunch of big trees. But they are all diseased to the point that they need to be removed, long past their prime lifespan. They present an immediate hazard due to their poor condition and location adjacent to the house.

2) The roof of the original house structure has long since failed. You cannot see it from the exterior of the house, but in the interior of the house you can see the buckling walls/ceiling moisture damage in numerous places. There's interior leaks to the extent that the seller has placed some plastic sheeting on the floor with a bucket to capture the drips coming through.

3) Outside faucets aren't the self-draining remote type and hadn't been shut-off/winterized from the crawl space. One was seeping and had frozen up outside the house in the cold weather. There's very likely frozen plumbing damage in the crawl space which needs to be investigated.

4) Here's the biggie: the moisture problem throughout the house has lead to a house full of black mold. You can see it on numerous surfaces throughout the house, but the smell is present everywhere. The mold has apparently blossomed in all the walls, likely in the carpet/subflooring, far beyond what a superficial cleaning could remove. This is a serous health defect, a very "toxic" house. IMO, the problem is so serious that the house is a "tear down".

The real estate broker we're dealing with is a "top producer". She's very professional in presenting a property and representing the seller in accordance with her fiduciary responsibility. She will not say or suggest anything that is against the seller's interest by law.

She acknowledged my concerns about the trees and said they merely need some maintenance spraying. Frankly, this was a comical response … because the black diseased surfaces reached all the way from ground level up the trunk of the tree, and it was every tree.

I asked her about the roof and she said that the contractor who'd been dealing with an obvious leak in one room said it could be condensation in that room and he'd done "all he could" to the roof to repair it. She said that the "roof was OK" … when it was obviously not so without us even having to do a rooftop inspection or look through the attic space. The smell of mold was pervasive and minimal poking around at some of the woodwork in various places around the house revealed extensive dry rot in the structure.

You can tell where I'm going with this report. Here's a house with such obvious glaring health issues and defects … and the real estate broker is smiling and telling us the reasons why the seller is justified in asking a premium over-market price due to the location.

Mrs Sun couldn't get out of this place fast enough … and it's being marketed as a "premier property" opportunity in the area.

Buyer Beware, Caveat Emptor. Open your eyes, use common sense … and trust your instincts or hire a pro to do the respective house inspections so you know what you're buying. Don't forget to ask about CC&R's, utilities providers, survey, and appraisals done for you, the buyer … not reports done for the seller's benefit.
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