Magnifying Glass

Home Inspections

It seems the subject of home inspections, who does home inspections, why, what is inspected, are all questions both Buyers and Sellers have. Are those questions properly addressed? Although Real Estate Agents are not licensed to give opinions on the condition of the home and property, they should be able to explain the highlights of each inspection, or at least point homeowners and buyers in the right direction for answers about home inspections.

The state of Wisconsin has released a new set of forms Sellers should be filling out when it comes time to sell their homes and property. The new Wisconsin Residential Condition Report asks the homeowner questions about the home including roof, foundation, electrical and plumbing systems, and other aspects of the home. Let’s look at the roof. Most homeowners have not been on their roofs. Unless the roof has a leak, or is obviously in need of repair, the average homeowner has no idea what condition the roof is actually in. How does the homeowner answer the question on the state condition report? The best answer may be, to the best of their ability. It is not an answer from a trained professional, but an answer based on experience the seller had with the roof. The same goes for other questions on the state form.

I have to tell you, the state of Wisconsin does not allow Real Estate Agents to guess at the condition of the property nor tell sellers what or how to fill in the Residential Condition Report. What Real Estate Agents can do is point people in the right direction for answers. In this case a pre-listing home inspection by a state licensed home Inspector may be the right ticket.

It may be a scary feeling for some people to call in an inspector to look over their home. The home inspector may uncover something the homeowner didn’t know about that may cost money to repair. On the other hand, what happens after the Seller accepts an Offer to Purchase and the Buyer decides to hire a home inspector? Now the home inspector is working for the Buyer. Does that make a difference? It shouldn’t. But there can be difference down the road as the sale of the house goes through the process.

If the sale of the property is contingent on a loan, the lender sends out an appraiser that may uncover defects. In most cases those defects have to be corrected before the loan is approved and the sale can close.

Certain loans require some sort of verification that the work is complete and the issues corrected. The easiest, most reliable, and quickest way to provide verification the defects have been cured is to have the state licensed home inspector look over the repairs and write an amendment to the inspection report. In many cases the underwriter working on the loan is looking for verification from the licensed home inspector. The problem is, many home inspectors change fees to reinspect and write amendments. If the Buyer chooses not to send their home inspector back to the properly to reinspect, that can leave the seller in a difficult situation.

The Real Estate Agent working for the seller should monitor the repairs and request lien waivers from all the contractors involved. In some cases the underwriter may accept lien waivers as proof the repairs have been made. If that is not enough, the seller may have to provide pictures, a letter from each contractor, or other proof. The list could go one forever and take weeks to solve an issue that should have been solved with a simple amendment from the home inspector.

When the home inspector is hired by the Buyer, problems may come up. The Seller has little or no control. But if the Seller hires a home inspector to perform a pre-listing home inspection, the inspector, verification, and amendments are only a phone call away.

A pre-lising home inspection paid for by the seller could in fact save a lot of time, money, and aggravation on certain houses. A pre-listing home inspection is something every seller should consider.


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Property Search Options only on Crossroads Real Estate

Out with the NEW and in with the OLD

Although computers can and will be a useful tool in the Real Estate Industry, they are not and never will be as reliable as we’d like them to be. After working on a few innovative ideas on a new website with a number of companies, I decided to place those ideas on the back burner for a while and go back to a more traditional way of searching new homes and properties. In the old days Real Estate Agents went through catalogs of homes for sale, made a list, a few copies on the copy machine, made a few phone calls to set up showing appointments, and hit the road. The computer has made some of those tasks easier. For the most part computers are – garbage in – garbage out. There’s no secret about that. We’ll use the cost effective, reliable features on the computer and let the update gods play with the rest of those features we reality don’t need.

I’m sure you filled out forms before, hit the submit, and watched a little dial float around wondering if the request or message would ever go through. I can’t guarantee that won’t happen here. Sorry if it does.

You always have the choice to call me. 414-426-1784

We can do business the old fashion way.

As a side note. I looked at other sites for ideas. Everyone likes to use those drop down menus. After sleeping on it, I woke up and wondered why. Those drop downs have always been a little restrictive. They are also a little insulting. Everyone I work with are capable of filling in a number and comment. So here is a what I refer to as my simple form. Let me know what you think.


Option 2

If you prefer to search properties on your own, here is a link to a search page. I know a lot of people like to window shop the Internet. You can click the link below and that will take you to my personal MLS search site. Which seems to be lacking in a few areas. So I sat down to think of what to do. There is no contact button, or showing request button…. But what do you expect after all the money I spent on it. Of course there are upgrades I can pay for and I’ll get someones idea of how to search for a new home. But the cost of those sites is always going up and up. The costs are ridiculous. And I would have to pass those costs over to sellers who list their properties with me. I try to avoid that. My dad always told me to work smarter and not harder. So here is the plan.

  • Click on the picture or link and a new window will open.
  • Use those new fan dangled pull downs to find homes and properties as close to the one you are looking for. There is also an option to search on a map.
  • When you find something you are interested in do the following.
  • You can highlight or double click on the MLS number or address.
  • Right click your mouse and COPY.
  • Click back to the tab here.
  • Paste the MLS number or Address in the side bar on the right.
  • When your done click the SEND button.

I’ll call you as soon as I can.

Or you can call be with the address of MLS number. I still use an old fashion pen and paper.


Link to the Crossroads Real Estate Search Page

If your web browser is set to default security, you will get a message saying that site does not exist. That is because the local MLS does not provide a secure site at this time. I’m working on that. In the mean time, you can either set up your browser for less secure browsing. I wouldn’t do that. Or you can copy and paste the following link into your address bar.