What the Wisconsin Badgers Can Teach Home Sellers

Wisconsin Phantom Knee

Let’s set the scene …

Wisconsin at Arizona State this past Saturday, Sun Devils clinging to a two-point lead thanks to some questionable play-calling from the bench, the Badgers driving easily into field-goal territory for what should be the game-winning kick.

Joel Stave, the Wisconsin quarterback, takes a snap with 18 seconds remaining and runs to his left to take a knee and center the ball for the field-goal kicker. Stave bumps into his lineman and his knee is on the ground for a nanosecond – irrelevant since college rules say he only has to make the motion of taking a knee – and all should have been good.

Except …

Stave laid the ball on the ground, seemingly attempting to mark it himself, instead of handing it to an official. And this one small act caused all kinds of havoc, mainly because nobody every does that. Every quarterback is told to take a knee, hand the ball to the official and wait for them to put the ball in play since the ball can’t be snapped until the umpire goes through the motion of placing the ball on the spot. (Watch for it if you’ve never paid attention.)

Seeing the ball on the ground, the umpire did nothing. ASU players jumped on the ball, the umpire eventually told them to get off and the Wisconsin players stood around as time ticked off, at least until four seconds remained and they realized they were in trouble because the clock was running. The Badgers never got off the snap needed to ground the ball and stop the clock, the game ends, and the referees later are reprimanded and disciplined for screwing up the management of the last 18 seconds.

Much finger pointing ensued. The referees, as I mentioned, were pilloried and punished. Stave somehow became a sympathetic figure though, in reality, all he had to do was not put the ball on the ground, to not create an usual situation and raise questions in the minds of everyone watching – fans, referees and players alike.

Questions can be a terrible thing. And especially so when you’re trying to sell your home.

If a home has basic, hairline settling cracks, for instance, the choice for a seller is to repair them or leave them be. Either option is viable and, as long as the buyers’ agent knows that settling cracks are normal, the cracks won’t give a buyer pause.

But if there’s a half-ass repair job done, questions blossom in a buyer’s mind … how bad was the problem with the roof? The idea of a hairline settling crack gets pushed to the back because the repair appears to be masking something far more severe.

Fresh paint on one wall of a room and not the other (and not taking into account accent walls) … what happened that the seller had to paint only THAT wall?

Water stains on the ceiling from long-repaired leaks … when did the roof leak? Was it fixed? How bad was it? (All of this would be addressed on the Sellers’ Disclosure Statement buyers generally receive after an offer is accepted; a leak listed as repaired and not visible in the first place tends not to worry too many buyers.)

When you’re looking to sell, you don’t want the buyers to ask any question other than “how fast can we move in?” Okay, and maybe, “is the refrigerator included.”

That’s about it.

Don’t make the same mistake as the Wisconsin Badgers this past weekend and turn a normal situation into an unnecessary, stressful disaster.

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Speaking of Arizona State University, here are some condos available right next to campus along the Light Rail route …

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Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.