Thursday, September 21, 2017

Attorney Shannon Wynn: Despite the waning of foreclosures, it is still 'Buyer Beware'

real estate foreclosure buying

There are two particular situations when we encourage Wynn at Law, LLC real estate clients to do as much home-buying due diligence as possible: Foreclosures and Relocations.

  • Foreclosures: We don't hear about as many foreclosures as we did at the start of the decade, but they're still out there in Southeast Wisconsin. Walworth County – at 1 home in 2,060 in foreclosure – is below the state average (1 in 2,700) and sandwiched between one of the busiest counties for August 2017 foreclosure activity (Rock Co., 1 in 1,334) and one of the lightest (Racine Co., 1 in 4,105). That data is from, and indicates that Elkhorn and Walworth communities currently have the highest foreclosure ratios in Walworth Co.

  • Relocations, or RELOs: As both the job and real estate markets continue to improve, workers are on the move again. When you see 'RELO documents required' in a description of a property, you will have paper work from a relocation company to sign. This usually means the home is an inventory home of a relocation company that has bought out the relocated seller. Corporations use relocation companies to get their employees to their new destinations ASAP. These corporations contract with RELO companies – or sometimes a RELO department within a large realty firm – to buy these homes and turn around and resell them. Just like the bank owning a foreclosed home, a RELO company doesn't know the property the way a private seller does.

In either case of buying, you should have an attorney on board as early as possible in the home-buying process (see related article). You should inspect the property top to bottom (another previous article), see it in multiple lights, and do your best to glean as much information as you can from public records.

Also, be aware that even though the RELO company and a bank foreclosing on a home have a vested interest in getting a property sold, they may or may not be more flexible on price, depending on the market. One such situation is the seller's market we're in. Another, in a RELO context, is if the RELO firm guaranteed a buyout of the home – a GBO. An attorney can be a strong negotiator in your corner, regardless of the market or status of the property.


*The content and material in this original post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  

Photo by Andy Dean, used with permission.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Attorney Shannon Wynn: Skipping the real estate inspection can be costly

home inspection, walworth county
Wynn at Law, LLC knows the cost of a real estate inspection may seem a little bit steep with all the other closing expenses to bear, but it's well worth it in the end. The cost will vary based on the size of the house, but between $300 and $500 is a good estimate in Walworth County. If these inspections aren't done, issues with the house might crop up later and end up costing thousands in repairs.

Many buyers of spec homes or brand-new construction especially feel the urge to skip the inspection. What really can go wrong with a new house? A lot. If a builder or seller offers a discounted price or cash back for skipping the home inspection, walk. A home inspection takes a couple hours: That's hardly an inconvenience to the seller. There is no reason to persuade buyers against it... unless there are critical issues with the home. For example, the homeowner may have been a “Do It Yourselfer” who did improvements him/herself to cut costs, or a builder could have cut corners to finish on schedule.

If you're really set on purchasing a home, you absolutely need to take measures to ensure it's safe. Safety is the primary reason three out of four home buyers have an inspection before finalizing the purchase according to the National Association of Realtors. The fact that three out of four buyers will have an inspection is a good reason sellers should have one, too, before they even list the property. This way, you can spend time remedying any issues that need to be immediately fixed for the next owners of your home. An inspection also gives you back-up in case the buyer's inspection turns up something entirely unexpected.

Here are three tips:

·         Hire a home inspector that has many years of experience and the proper certifications and licenses.

·         You also want an inspector that is thorough and will go into the attic, through the basement, and on the roof.

·         Go along. Some inspectors are happy with you following them around asking questions, while others want to do a thorough search first, and then a walk through with you. You are paying for his or her time, so ask for the tour from the inspector's view.

Real estate transactions are exciting for both buyer and seller. When you're caught up in that excitement – and the probability that there is also another buying or selling transaction in which you're involved – it can make you forget to take the necessary precautions. The inspection is one such precaution. Buyer or seller, it's your safety net.


*The content and material in this original post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  

Photo by Ian Allenden, used with permission.