Some Sellers Are Now Requiring Waivers To Tour a Home

by Nick Molnar on November 30, 2009

Quasi government agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have quite a few homes for sale throughout the country, including the South Bend area.  They sell homes “as is” without guaranteeing their condition and without repairs. That has become the norm for banks and government like institutions such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Now we are seeing a new development in South Bend – homes for sale that require potential buyers to sign a waiver of liability to enter and view the property.

Here’s one example:
“DUE TO DISCOLORATION IN BASEMENT, ANYONE ENTERING THE HOME MUST SIGN A WAIVER ” and a sample waiver, this one from a Freddie Mac owned property

As you might expect these waivers are most common in properties with a relatively low price. I found three homes that required waivers for entry priced around $30,000 with just a few minutes of searching. But they are not limited to inexpensive homes.

Recently this home sold for $138,000 after being listed as high as $465,200. At the time of sale it required a signed waiver for entry.

Would you still look at a house if the price was right but you had to sign a waiver to get inside?


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Barb November 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Yes, if the price and location were right I would consider signing a waiver.

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Tracy December 1, 2009 at 12:36 am

Heck no. At least not without a tough haz .mat. suit.

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K December 1, 2009 at 1:15 am

I guess it would depend on why the waiver was there in the first place. If it was simply because a mortgage company is trying to cover themselves on a foreclosure that seemed to be at least approximatly ok, then yes. If it is because the house has a serious structural defect or bad mold (to which I am HIGHLY allergic) then no. I am not adverse to foreclosed (or otherwise) properties that need work. However, I am not willing to risk the health of my family for a good deal. By the way, where was the $400 some thousand house that sold for $100 some thousand located. It looked pretty nice. What was wrong with it?

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Nick Molnar December 1, 2009 at 10:45 am

Coming from large institutions I would assume waivers are going to be used on homes with any evidence of mold – both minor issues and serious problems. It will be difficult to tell the extent of any issues until you are in the house, unless you can have a candid talk with the listing agent before entering the home. If you see a waiver from a private re-seller that should probably raise eyebrows.

There are many vacant homes in South Bend, Granger and Mishawaka that will be put up for sale at some point. Homes that are not occupied or regularly visited can develop many problems: mold / mustiness, frozen / burst pipes, squatters, animals living in the house, fleas, contamination from use as a meth lab, cracked plaster, stolen water meters (sold for scrap), and many others. Some vacant homes are monitored and well-kept and some are not – I saw a tree growing through the roof of a home owned by an out-of-town investor last weekend. I can see waivers of liability becoming the norm for vacant houses sold by large institutions and banks after a few lawsuits where someone is injured while viewing a house for sale.

The house that sold at $138,000 is at 51652 Westwinds Dr in Westwood Hills. I was not in the home, but heard it had mold and the seller (Freddie Mac) had the carpet and sections of drywall removed, then sold it as-is in that condition.

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Irish Eyes December 2, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Drum roll…..and the November 2009 sales are….? 🙂

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Nick Molnar December 2, 2009 at 9:37 pm

Working on them now.
They’ll be up later tonight or midday tomorrow.

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