Reno-Tahoe home-selling tips: Plenty of options at your disposal |

Reno-Tahoe home-selling tips: Plenty of options at your disposal

Lisa Wetzel and Jim Valentine
Special to the Sun-Bonanza
Real estate is a fluid business, always changing depending on the circumstances at hand.
Getty Images | iStockphoto

Every real estate transaction and property has its own characteristics. While common practices often dictate a course of action during the course of a sale, there are times when one must take a different approach to the situation.

Real estate is a fluid business, always changing depending on the circumstances at hand. The options are numerous and varied such that it is impossible to cover them all. Being aware that there are options can help a Buyer or Seller protect or enhance their position.

One example is the survey. Most residential transactions don’t require a survey. They are in an established neighborhood with long-time fences in place.

There are times, however, when a fence location may come in to question. If that is the case it is better to know about it before you close escrow than afterward. A surveyor can also help to identify if there are other encroachments including intrusion into the property setbacks.

While not usually a problem if it is there and established, it could be in the wrong circumstance, i.e., a utility company wants to run a line down the easement that was encroached in to.

Cash transactions don’t require an appraisal as there is no Lender requiring it. The cash Buyer usually does a lot of work to determine if the investment is what they want and the price appropriate for their wants and needs.

If there is any doubt, however, it is okay to make an appraisal a condition of the offer. Establish who will pay for it and what the results will mean to the transaction.

Many properties in our region have their own water system, a private well. When buying a property with a well, it is always recommended that a water quality test be obtained to prove the water meets Nevada primary and secondary drinking standards.

Buyers can also order a flow test, a test that measures the water quantity of a well and the draw down after a period of pumping. Like other components of a house, the current owner may be home and happy with everything, not knowing that a problem has developed.

Wells can sand in or water tables drop, resulting in the need for costly maintenance. This is a costly test, and isn’t always needed, but in the right situation it is a good option to select.

Cash Buyers of manufactured homes should be aware of the requirements Lenders have for such sales so they minimize their problems when they sell, or buy at the appropriate price for the circumstances.

Most often overlooked is the need for a stamped engineer plan for the foundation. Sometimes they are in the county records, but often they have been discarded necessitating the hiring of an engineer to provide a new set of documents. Good to know going in even if it isn’t required for your current transaction.

Our Advice: With an awareness of the ability to deviate from the cookie cutter transaction, and knowledge of available options, Buyers can customize the transaction to their needs.

While there are often similarities, no two transactions are the same. That is what makes it challenging and fun for the practitioners.

Make sure your Agent is flexible, some are stuck in a box and will challenge your option request without a reasonable explanation to you as to why you should forgo them. Be sure you understand the consequences of doing something and/or not doing something before you contract.

Real estate Agents make many suggestions during the course of property selection and acquisition, but it is ultimately the decision of the Buyer as to what will occur.

Work together with your Agent so you understand the circumstances of the property you are buying and develop a plan of how to structure the transaction and ensuing escrow.

Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, work for RE/MAX Realty Affiliates in the Carson Valley. Visit or call 775-781-5472 for information.

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