A Home Inspection Primer Pt. 1 - The Seller's Advantage
By John Voket
Every month, I chat with real estate pros and related service providers about issues affecting many consumers and homeowners. One of the most frequent areas of discussion involves home inspections.
Nothing may have greater impact on both a seller or buyer than the home inspection. If it's done right, both parties can benefit - but if a home inspection is done poorly, it could haunt both the buyer and seller for a long time after the closing.
The site helpinghomesellers.com offers a wealth of good information regarding home inspections. In the next couple of segments, we'll relate some of these savvy tips on home inspections.
According to this consumer information site, a home inspection can be helpful to a seller because it shifts some of the liability over to the inspector. If a problem the inspector missed (that the seller was unaware of) arises at a later date, they may have a legitimate defense if the new buyer has a serious complaint.
Inspectors document existing problems, issues and anything that remotely looks like a potential problem. Then they present a written list of the areas inspected and of “concerns” to the buyers, who may be present to learn about maintenance recommendations.
So is it best to have everything repaired before the inspection? Not necessarily, according to helpinghomesellers.com.
If homeowners have a few minor problems that are not obvious, but an inspection would catch them, consider holding off on their repair.
Why not repair these? Repairing these "hidden" types of things in advance won't earn sellers many points.
If they are discovered (and they might not be), a seller can enhance the possibility of closing the sale by agreeing to have small items like a broken toilet or unstable downspout repaired.
Don't forget, even a house in "perfect" condition will likely produce something on a report to reassure potential buyers that their inspector is doing a professional job. Better they come up with something you were going to fix anyway, rather than to keep digging to come up with something to justify their fee.
Ultimately, helpinghomesellers.com says don't let a few hundred dollars in repair requests be a deal breaker. A seller shouldn't have to start all over again just because a buyer (or their home inspector) is getting the upper hand on this important contingency.