Sellers and Buyers and Inspections …Oh My!

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 By Emily

A Home Inspection is an important part of buying a property.  You’re a Home Buyer after all, not a professional inspector who has been trained and tested to inspect for safety, systems and latent/underlying defects.  The Home Inspection is an expected contingency on a contract to purchase a property.

When a Buyer makes an offer on a home it should be based in part, on the visible condition of the home.  When I walk through a home with a Buyer, we take note of wear and tear, maintenance that has been done or neglected, water stains, dated/renovated rooms and appliances, slope of the lot, odors, condition of windows, exterior, decks etc.  We make our offer in part, based on this visible condition as we know and can see it.

This same scrutiny is done when working with a home owner in determining the market value of his home.  Sellers complete a property disclosure describing the age and systems of the house and disclose any renovations and repairs as well as known defects or malfunctions.  All this and more are considered and weighed against the price recommended to list the home to get it sold.  If the property is in need of repairs, it is priced lower to compensate for them.  Often a property will be priced aggressively at a significantly lower price than comparables because of the renovations and/or repairs the Seller recognizes the home needs. inspector

The Selling and Buying of a home should be a very thorough process on both sides.  In 2013 homes in Carroll County sold at an average of 95% of list price.  That’s a good indicator that home values are mostly in-line with their list prices.  There is some misconception however that a Home Inspection is used primarily as a renegotiating tool and that can undermine the purchase and sale.


Keeping in mind what a home inspection is designed for… to inspect for safety, systems and latent/underlying defects … a Buyer should not expect to renegotiate after inspection on issues that he was aware of when he made the original offer. Worn/stained carpet, or dated kitchens and bathrooms, are items that are apparent before the offer is made- and not to be negotiated after the inspection.  It’s also true, that unless a Buyer is purchasing a new home, the Buyer is NOT purchasing a new home.  In this case a Buyer looking at an older home should not be surprised if the inspection comes back noting the wiring is old. And in many cases, this has already been spelled out in the seller property disclosure.

However, an example of a latent/unknown defect in an inspection that merits renegotiation of an original offer may be the discovery of a failing furnace that has reached the end of its life or should be replaced due to gas leakage.   A Buyer would likely be unaware of this when he made his offer and renegotiate the price based on the replacement of the furnace.

The Home Inspection is aimed to help reveal hidden defects, safety hazards, and major structural problems.  It’s an important part of the purchase and sale process.  It’s a tool to aid the Buyer in knowing what he is inheriting so problems that are significant or too expensive to fix can be negotiated in the purchase and sale agreement.  It is a misconception that minor maintenance items should not be expected in the resale of a home or, that visual defects noted, should not be considered in a Buyers original offer to purchase.

Remember to keep small things small, but pay attention to the serious issues.

Kathy Prittie

“going the extra mile is worth the run”

Eight Great Real Estate Moves for 2012

Saturday, December 31st, 2011 By Joy Tarbell

Happy New Year! With 2012 right around the corner (just a few hours away)! I thought it time to think about some of the best ways to engage with the real estate market this coming year.  I came up with 8 great ideas to inspire you to action!

Buy your first home

If you are ready to buy your first home now is the time.  I would even go so far as to say that if you are ready stop reading this article right now and start searching or contact us.  Great prices and record low interest rates combine to make this the very best time to get started on home ownership.  The Buyers section of our website has some great resources.  And searching on is simple and easy.  Don’t forget to register so you can save your searches and receive the notifications you choose with no obligation.

Become a real estate agent

For the go-getter, there is always money to be made in real estate!  Start now building your contacts and be in position to capitalize on any market changes. For more information on how to start your real estate career head over to the Careers section of

Take advantage of a 1031 Tax-deferred exchange

If you have been maintaining your rental property for some time now you may be losing margin.  Put the tax advantages of a 1031 exchange to work for you to acquire a more valuable rental property. Interested?  Check out these NH multifamily units for sale right now.  If you want to learn more about the advantages of a 1031 exchange you can connect with one of our preferred 1031 exchange vendors.

Buy your first investment property

So the 1031 exchange doesn’t apply to you because you don’t own a rental property? Make 2012 the year to change that.  With great prices and a selection of available income properties you can get started letting someone else pay for your investment!

Buy that lakefront property you have always dreamed of

Living in a lakefront home is a goal for many.  Start early and you could be enjoying the lake by summer, just dive in!  Or if you prefer rivers you might try a riverfront property.  With much to choose from you are sure to satisfy that dream.

Buy a ski condo

We just added four Attitash Mountain condos to our best buy page!  There are so many good deals on ski condos right now you have an amazing selection.  Make this the year you can simply ski home at the end of the day! On top of the great real estate available at the local ski areas Trip Advisor just ranked the North Conway as the most affordable ski destination in the Northeast and second in the US overall! Search for Attitash Condos or Mount Cranmore condos right here.

Trade up

With so many properties on the market right now, many people feel it is the wrong time to sell their home.  This may not be true at all.  While many properties are available, the right property at the right price will always move quickly.  If you have been in your home for a few years you may be able to take advantage of all that is available on the market right now.  At the very least it can’t hurt to look! Start your search today.


This is the approach I often take.  Renovations add not only financial value to your home, they also add enjoyment value.  No matter how long you have been in your home, there is always something on the wish list.  In my house right now the wish is new countertops.  Whatever your wish, if you put a plan together now, you can start sooner.  Winter is a great time for many renovations as contractors can be less busy, giving you more attention and possibly a better price.  If you are the handy sort then break out the tools while the weather is cold. You can check our preferred contractors for a start on your project or look into other JtRealty preferred vendors under the About Us section above.

Snag a Great Investment

Saturday, March 6th, 2010 By Joy Tarbell

Ron Insana, author of “How to Make a Fortune From the Biggest Bailout in U.S. History”,  talks with the Today Show about why the time is right to recapture losses you may have incurred during the economic downturn of the past two years.  With a keen eye Insana suggests investors look to real estate as a great place to put money right now.  Looking at the New Hampshire real estate market, particularly here in Conway. I can’t help but agree with the advice.  Prices are down, and there are many great buys in the region.  Combine great low prices on homes and condos with the Homebuyer’s tax credit and the deal sweetens.

Right now we are offering tours of the best real estate deals in North Conway, Bartlett, Jackson and Western Maine.  If you are interested in seeing just how great some of these deals are call (603-356-7200) or drop us an email.  We will be happy to show you around!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

NH Association of Realtors: Tax credit extension passes House

Friday, November 6th, 2009 By Joy Tarbell

Tax credit extension and expansion passes House;

President’s signature expected before weekend

The Unemployment Insurance bill, including the homebuyer tax credit extension and expansion, has passed the House by a vote of 403-12, after passing the Senate Wednesday night, 98-0.

The new provisions will take effect as soon as President Obama signs the bill, which is expected to be before the weekend.  Included here is a link to a side-by-side comparison and Q&A to help answer some of your questions about the provisions.

And click here to see the Washington Post story published this afternoon.

Thanks to everyone for their hard work over the last month.  With over half a million letters to Congress sent from Realtors across the country, there is no doubt that the grassroots effort has paid off.

Agreement reached, but tax credit extension not yet passed

Thursday, October 29th, 2009 By Joy Tarbell

A Message from the New Hampshire Association of Realtors

October 29, 2009

Close, but tax credit extension not yet passed

Please take note of the recent e-mail from the National Association of REALTORS®.  While there is encouraging news regarding the potential for an extension of the homebuyer tax credit, until the appropriate legislation is passed REALTORS® should operate with the understanding that it expires on November 30, 2009. 

If you have not already, we encourage you to respond to the Call For Action or contact your members of Congress directly.  See below for the NAR correspondence:

FROM: Charles McMillan, NAR President
Jerry Giovaniello, NAR Senior Vice President Government Affairs
RE: Tax Credit Extension and Expansion

Senate leaders of both parties and key Senate Finance Committee members and staff, and tax credit sponsors Dodd-Lieberman-Isakson have agreed on extending and expanding the housing tax credit.

However, there is no agreement on how to attach this tax credit to the pending Unemployment Insurance bill, or whether to offer the tax credit agreement on another bill, or whether to bring the agreement to the Senate floor and vote upon it as a separate, stand alone bill.

And after Senate action, the tax credit must go to the House of Representatives for action.

REALTORS® should keep responding to our Call For Action by calling and writing their members of congress to support the tax credit extension.

NAR will continue to update you as developments warrant.

First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit

Saturday, August 29th, 2009 By Suzie Laskin

92 days and counting … down!

Are you aware of New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority’s (NHHFA) Home Advantage program?

A reminder that the clock is ticking for eligible home buyers to take advantage of the federal first-time home buyer tax credit.

For those who have not owned a home within the past three years, the $8,000 tax credit expires on November 30. In other words, eligible first-time home buyers have 92 days from today to close on a home purchase before the offer runs out.

Are you aware? In New Hampshire, the tax credit should be considered particularly appealing thanks to a program instituted by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. This program, Home Advantage, allows buyers to monetize the tax credit at the time of purchase to provide up to $10,000 down payment and closing cost assistance funds.

Learn more! For more on the Home Advantage program, visit For details on the first-time home buyer tax credit, click here.

Do not let this $8,000 gift go to waste! Remember that there are 92 days left to take advantage of the federal tax credit, and here in New Hampshire, the Home Advantage program as well.

$8000 First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 By Union Street Media

Great Starter Home in Conway Village The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 authorizes a tax credit of up to $8,000 for qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.

The following questions and answers provide basic information about the tax credit. If you have more specific questions, we strongly encourage you to consult a qualified tax advisor or legal professional about your unique situation.

1. Who is eligible to claim the tax credit?

First-time home buyers purchasing any kind of home-new or resale-are eligible for the tax credit. To qualify for the tax credit, a home purchase must occur on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009. For the purposes of the tax credit, the purchase date is the date when closing occurs and the title to the property transfers to the home owner.

2.     What is the definition of a first-time home buyer?
The law defines “first-time home buyer” as a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. For married taxpayers, the law tests the homeownership history of both the home buyer and his/her spouse.

For example, if you have not owned a home in the past three years but your spouse has owned a principal residence, neither you nor your spouse qualifies for the first-time home buyer tax credit. However, unmarried joint purchasers may allocate the credit amount to any buyer who qualifies as a first-time buyer, such as may occur if a parent jointly purchases a home with a son or daughter. Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principal residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first-time home buyer.

3.     How is the amount of the tax credit determined?
The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000.

4.     Are there any income limits for claiming the tax credit?
Yes. The income limit for single taxpayers is $75,000; the limit is $150,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return. The tax credit amount is reduced for buyers with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of more than $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return. The phaseout range for the tax credit program is equal to $20,000. That is, the tax credit amount is reduced to zero for taxpayers with MAGI of more than $95,000 (single) or $170,000 (married) and is reduced proportionally for taxpayers with MAGIs between these amounts.

5.     How is this home buyer tax credit different from the tax credit that Congress enacted in July of 2008?
The most significant difference is that this tax credit does not have to be repaid. Because it had to be repaid, the previous “credit” was essentially an interest-free loan. This tax incentive is a true tax credit. However, home buyers must use the residence as a principal residence for at least three years or face recapture of the tax credit amount. Certain exceptions apply.

6.     What types of homes will qualify for the tax credit?
Any home that will be used as a principal residence will qualify for the credit. This includes single-family detached homes, attached homes like townhouses and condominiums, manufactured homes (also known as mobile homes) and houseboats. The definition of principal residence is identical to the one used to determine whether you may qualify for the $250,000 / $500,000 capital gain tax exclusion for principal residences.    To Keep Reading Click Here

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