A Unique Preliminary Inspection

duelWith income property, you, the buyer, often cannot inspect the subject building(s) before the seller accepts your offer. The reason is that people live there, and the owner doesn’t want to disturb her tenants with serious and non-serious buyers alike traipsing through their homes. Understandable.  You can read about this in my entry Subject to Inspection.

A good listing agent will schedule for us to see the interior of the property the same day or day after your offer is accepted, and before your earnest money deposit (EMD) is due. That way, he doesn’t have to open escrow and take the property off the market if, for some reason, you hate the interior and want to cancel escrow immediately.

Well, the listing agent I’m working with now has taken this idea one step further.  He’s asking his top two offers to do our preliminary interior inspection before our offer is even accepted.  This could be okay, but it isn’t preferable. My first concern with this preemptive inspection is that there may be something wrong with the interior that the seller is extra worried we’ll balk at. Secondly, having the two top buyers and the seller in one place is very strange (and a little tactless). Perhaps the listing agent hopes we’ll hold an auction at the property, bidding each other up?  Or maybe he’s just buying time, expecting another offer to come in higher and with more favorable terms while we’re checking for water damage.

While more than likely this is a good faith measure, this unique inspection feels a little Old West to me, and my buyer and I are bringing our figurative guns. Because the seller will be there, my buyer is bringing his EMD check, and I’m bringing our offer on good old-fashioned paper for the seller to sign. Oh, and a quill and ink bottle. Should be fun.

Read the UPDATE!

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