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  • Writer's pictureDon Stocker

When Buying an Older Home, Finding the Right Agent is Key

This blog post will probably be one of my shortest but it has taken a few weeks and several iterations to get it right. Real estate can be very emotional for everyone involved. This post is created from personal experience. The frustration my sellers have felt could have been avoided. Please, if you are looking to purchase a home, continue reading.

I have an eclectic taste in homes. The homes that speak to me the loudest are homes that were built before World War II. The craftsmanship of those homes in the Sacramento area is hard to beat. The thrill of walking into an older home and seeing the rich woodwork still intact is awesome. From the coved ceilings, hardwood floors and ¼ basements, these homes have a charm that appeals to many people.

Recently, I became painfully aware that while some people think they like the charm of these homes, the responsibility of owning one is too much for them to handle. They want the charm but don’t understand that with the charm comes certain quirts that newer homes don’t have. They aren't bad quirks, they are just different from a newer home.

If you are someone that likes older homes and want to buy one, please seek out an agent who knows and understands them. They have the experience to really show you what an older home offers and what to expect when purchasing. They also have a network of home inspectors who understand these homes. There is nothing worse than seeing an inspection come in from an inspector who clearly doesn’t understand an older home but puts worst case scenario in his report just to cover his liability and ends up scaring the client. I had never seen this happen until listing an older home that isn’t in the core area of Sacramento. Buyers came in that really loved the home. Their agent wasn't familiar with older homes and didn’t have inspectors that understood them. The red flags that the inspectors called out were all easily disputed and proved wrong by an actual contractor inspecting the home and writing a letter stating none of those issues were actual issues. Unfortunately, it was too late. The buyers’ dreams were crushed, and they backed out of the deal.

I’m not here to bad mouth anyone. I just want everyone to understand that there should be expectations set when a person purchases a home. Education is key to combating this issue. If you are making one of the largest purchases of your life, please don’t rely on just anyone to help you.

The homebuying process is an emotional one. From the sellers opening up their home to potential buyers and letting go of their emotional bond to it, to the buyers making a large purchase, it can be quite a roller coaster ride. That doesn’t need to be compounded by lack of knowledge. To see a deal destroyed by misinformation and lack of knowledge can be maddening.

I would encourage anyone who loves the charm of an older home to seek out an agent who understands them. We have several older homes in the Sacramento core and great agents who understand them. There are great inspectors that can assist you as well and these agents work with them. Don’t let your dreams get dashed by inexperience. I know most agents mean well but when it comes to older homes, experience and knowledge are key. Owning an older home can be very fulfilling.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.


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