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posted
I posted this on the real estate board earlier and it hasn't even had a view much less an answer.


My son and his wife are trying to fix up their home to sell. They have redone all three bathrooms and the kitchen as well as the hardwood floors. A real estate agent friend of theirs suggested they need to replace the railing on the stairs leading to the second floor. The house was built in the early 1970's and there is only one baluster per stair which is not up to local codes. They have checked into what it would cost and it's really expensive. If they were to give it a fresh coat of paint, would that be enough or is it worth replacing it for resale?
 
Posts: 52 | Registered: Mar 05, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Froo Froo
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I am not an agent, but if one stated the local code regarding this, perhaps they should fix it now, but obtain multi estimates. This sounds like a saftety issue as well as a code violation. Keep in mind perspective buyers generally hire licensed inspectors who will point this out and then the buyers will lowball the seller with the intent to fix the problem or the current homeowner can fix it before the contract is signed. Building codes change over the years. The seller can always sell "as is" but the buyers will smell a red flag.
 
Posts: 18694 | Location: Right here, duh! ;) | Registered: Nov 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The thing is, when they bought the house ten years ago, they had an inspection and nothing was mentioned about the railing. I know the codes for closer spacing have been in effect for longer than ten years, so I wonder why it wasn't mentioned when they bought the house?
 
Posts: 52 | Registered: Mar 05, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not all inspectors are equal in their diligence. You often get what you pay for. I know some inspectors here whom cost 400 and others 300. It is not a guarantee that each will find the exact same issues. Sometimes the lender you use will have their own inspectors too.
 
Posts: 9616 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Froo Froo
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Sigh...I agree that some inspectors are rip off artists. We once hired one for a new home inspection. The man was OBESE and wearing a SUIT! No way was he able or intending to go on the roof, into the attic or crawl space.
 
Posts: 18694 | Location: Right here, duh! ;) | Registered: Nov 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of lady of shallot
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Couldn't you just have an additional baluster added to each stair?

My husband replaced all the balusters (16) on one side of a porch (no new railing or base) he says it took him about a day.

It is probably a safety issue because of a kid getting his head stuck.
 
Posts: 12666 | Registered: Jun 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of cocok
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No matter how much paint you add, it won't bring the stair railing up to code.

I think this is a tricky question, as most sellers want to get the most they can for their home. If they find a buyer with children it will definitely be an issue, and the family will probably want to accommodate the cost of bringing it up to code in the purchase price. On the other hand, if the buyer has no children it might not be an issue at all.

I might risk putting the house on the market as is, and then, if it is an issue, then deal with it when you are negotiating the purchase price. At least that way there is a chance they might not have to pay to fix the railing. It isn't like the railing is a hidden issue. It is in plain sight.

I would have at least three bids for the work, so you know the cost for sure, so that the negotiations on the purchase price will be fair to both parties.
 
Posts: 7193 | Registered: Apr 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Pleas read the answers on the real estate board.
 
Posts: 7052 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you all for taking the time to answer my questions. I will pass this information along to my son and his wife. You have all been extremely helpful.
 
Posts: 52 | Registered: Mar 05, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Obviously they originally bought the house with the railing in question, so it didn't stop them from wanting to live there. That being said, I think it depends. If they have brought everything else in the house up to date and that is the only eyesore, it might be an issue. I would advise them to get another opinion or two from other real estate professionals in their area.
 
Posts: 805 | Registered: Jul 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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