Pre-Sale Inspections Provide Peace of Mind among Buyers and Sellers

By Keith Loria

One of the most stressful times for a home seller is that short period of time between when a bid is accepted and the inspection comes back, as you never know what might turn up.

Many times, an inspection will uncover hidden problems or other defects that will change the offer and put the negotiating power in the buyer’s favor. Things like rotting floors, mold in the attic or termites on the deck have been enough to kill deals altogether.

The problem with a buyer getting an inspection and pulling out because they didn’t like the results is that normally, you don’t know what they didn’t like and you don’t have access to their inspector’s report. This can be frustrating because if you knew the problem, you could get it fixed.

One way to ensure that the inspection doesn’t offer any real surprises is to arrange for an inspection yourself prior to putting the home on the market. By doing so, you will discover any problems ahead of time, which will give you the opportunity to make the necessary fixes.

While the inspector won’t necessarily be the same as the one a potential buyer brings in, a professional inspector should be able to come up with most of the same things that anyone would find. Inspectors have specific knowledge in all aspects of home construction, including plumbing, wiring and other components, so their findings shouldn’t vary much. 

Your inspector will work with you to identify hidden problems such as leaks in the roof, possible water damage, remodeling efforts that don’t meet current building codes, or improperly grounded outlets. Once you have the list of potential issues, you can either repair the problems or reduce the price of your home accordingly. Making certain repairs before you put your house on the market makes sense when the repairs are relatively small and inexpensive. For larger items, it may be better to take money off the asking price and let the buyer fix or replace these things once they move in.

If you have a pool, you should also consider hiring a separate pool inspector since pools are typically a big draw among prospective buyers. 

While the price of an inspection will run you a few hundred dollars, it’ll be well worth it when you think of the alternative of losing a sale because of something that could have easily been fixed ahead of time.

Keep in mind that if you do get an inspection and discover something is wrong, most states require you by law to let the buyer know. If you conceal a defect from the buyer and the buyer’s inspection doesn’t discover it, the buyer can sue later if it’s discovered. But if you fix the problems or just let the buyer know prior to the deal, you will be okay.

To learn more about pre-sale inspections, contact our office today. 

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.