Risks of Condition Free Offers
What are the risks of Condition-Free Offers?
Great question. In today's market, buyers are often in multiple offer situations and want to submit a clean
offer that has no conditions. This is never advisable, but we do understand that this is a very competitive
If you have been pre-qualified by a licensed mortgage broker, you may been vetted by one or more
lenders, however, the property has NOT been vetted. Below are some issues that could affect a lender’s
willingness to lend on a particular property. Please note that this list is not exhaustive. There could be
other issues impacting a lender’s decision.
• Water damage, leaks in foundation
• Roof in poor condition
• Knob & tube or aluminum wiring
• Former use as a grow-op, meth lab, etc.
• Low square footage
• Locks on bedrooms (suggesting home is/will be used as a rooming house)
• Previous use as a short term rental such as Airbnb or Home Away, etc.
• Below average condition
• Surrounding adverse influences (located downhill from a gas station, near a half-way house, etc.)
• Murder or suicide in the home
• Status certificate with low reserve funds, deferred maintenance or unresolved law suits
• Inability to arrange adequate home insurance
• Zoning other than residential
Properties that were formally used as grow-op, meth lab, murder/suicide DO need to be disclosed by the
seller in advance. If there are no adverse influences, it comes down to whether or not the appraisal
supports the purchase price. What if it doesn't?
Lenders provide mortgages based on the LOWER of the appraised value or the purchase price. If the
appraisal is lower than the actual purchase price, you may be required to find additional monies (from a
non-borrowed source) to increase your down payment. See the next page for an example of how things
could be affected based on a low appraisal.
NOTE: In a high ratio insured transaction (less than 20% down), there may be a possibility that you could qualify
with a higher premium using the same down payment. However, each individual's situation is different and it may not be possible. You may still have to provide further down payment.
CONDITION ON FINANCING
This is for your protection. If the property does not meet the lenders’ guidelines, your application could be declined. NOTE: If an appraisal is required, there is a possibility that the value may come in lower than the purchase price. In this case you would have to be prepared to pay a higher premium OR cover the shortfall as the lender will only consider the lower of the two values.
This may identify any major or minor structural defects of the property that may result in thousands of dollars in repairs.
It is highly recommended to have your lawyer review the Status Certificate to ensure adequate reserve funds are available, no special assessments, condo fee increases or lawsuits are pending against the condo corporation.
If you’re confident that you’re not overpaying and that there aren’t any adverse influences, then you may want to consider a firm offer but keep in mind the associated risk and whether or not you can find additional funds in the event the appraisal is an issue. In working with a broker, one company may have issues with a given property, while another may not. You may find yourself with limited lenders and higher rates should there be an issue with the appraisal or the property itself. Only you can decide what your risk tolerance is.