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Consider Pre-Sale Inspections

Jan 09, 2015 10:36AM ● By Jennifer Neys

Strategies for Sellers, By Glen Allen 

When putting your home on the market, it makes sense to have professional inspections done before potential buyers ever see it. Buyers generally order inspections after the home is in contract and the 30-day escrow clock is ticking away. An unforeseen issue at this point can result in the seller having to reduce the price or make unexpected repairs. Pre-sale inspections can result in higher offers, avoid delays and unexpected costs, and avoid the sale falling through.

Professional home inspectors are trained to look at all systems that make up a house to detect what most people do not see. They look for hidden issues including those that pose health and safety concerns. A competent agent will help you consider home inspection, structural pest inspection, chimney inspection, and a sewer lateral inspection.

Buyers feel more confident making an offer if they have a solid understanding of the home’s condition, and they are less likely to leave a buffer in the offer price to fix “unknown” issues. Bottom line: the more buyers know about a home, the more comfortable they are in offering more and following through with the transaction.  

Pre-sale inspections also give the seller time to find acceptable and affordable solutions to problems before having to negotiate with a buyer. Sellers can elect to fix problems discovered in the home inspection, provide bids to repair items, or not repair the items. Avoiding a “re-negotiation” after the contract is ratified is another advantage to having the home inspected.

Buying a home is an emotional and scary experience for many buyers. If a home inspection comes up with a list of needed repairs, it can scare buyers away. If repairs are made in advance, they either become a non-issue or the cost for the repair will be many times less than a buyer perceives it to be. If a seller chooses not to fix the problem, at least the buyer knows about it up front and can adjust their offer price.

Another benefit is that pre-sale inspections can reduce the seller’s liability. If a buyer sues a seller, it is usually for “non-disclosure” of a defect they may or may not have known about. By completing the “Transfer Disclosure Statement” and the “Seller Property Questionnaire,” the seller discloses any defects or known repairs made on the home since living there. A home inspection or other inspections can be a part of a seller’s complete disclosure package to ensure the buyer is aware of the condition of the home.

As always, rely on your agent to give you good advice and recommendations about this very important part of your real estate transaction. A thorough set of inspections before you put your home on the market can help you sell your home faster for top dollar with less stress, aggravation, and worry.


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