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I'll Take Two Please!

June 19, 2012


It is common practice for certain listings or properties to require a water sample when there is an accepted offer in place.  It is generally a condition of the offer to have a ‘0’ water test to show that the drinking water is potable, or safe for consumption.

Recently I had a deal almost fall through because of difficulty in getting an acceptable reading on a water sample.  And because of this difficulty I have vowed to always get TWO water samples from now on.

Here’s what I mean.  I was the listing agent and a buyer’s agent brought an offer on one of my listings.  One of the conditions of the buyer’s financing being approved was what we call a ‘0’ test result.  That means there are no contaminants in the water.  The buyer and their agent took a water sample and sent it away for testing.  The result came back at ‘.01’ which means there was a small trace of something, and that also means the bank won’t approve financing.  There are many reasons to get a small indication of something in the water, one of which is if the surroundings weren’t prepared properly prior to the water sample being taken.

However, my client went to the expense of installing a brand new UV filter to ensure that there were no issues with the water, even though they knew it wasn’t necessary.  We set up a time for the buyers to take another sample, and just on a gut feeling I decided to take another sample myself.  We both took the sample on the same day and sent it to the same lab for testing.  The buyer’s agent got her results and once again it came back with the ‘.01’.  When I got my results, however, it showed a ‘0’.  Now, the bank was still prepared to let the deal fall apart with the buyer’s test results.  If I hadn’t taken my own test which provided acceptable results, the deal would have fallen through.  I am so thankful that I took the time to get my own test.  I have years of experience taking water samples and perhaps the other agent did not.  For whatever reason we received different results.

The bottom line is that real estate agents have a responsibility to act in their clients’ best interests and I will always remember this experience.  From now on I will ALWAYS TAKE TWO!!  (water samples that is!!)


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