Buyers wary of purchasing a home with costly defects often ask for a home inspection as a condition of sale. If the report comes back with problems, the buyer might use flaws in the house as reason to renegotiate the price or walk away from the deal. This means that home negotiation is done twice and if the buyers walk away, the actual selling process must occur twice.
This can be prevented with a pre-listing inspection. Currently, only 20% of sellers use this tool to anticipate problems in the home, but the concept is catching on. Having a pre-listing home inspection is a great idea that offers many advantages if you are a sellers so you can price your home right for sale and minimize the need for renegotiation. It can be pro-active step with good practical and marketing value for both you and your agent.
How Does A Home Inspection Help A Seller?
With information in hand from a pre-listing inspection, you gain an accurate assessment of the condition of your home, so that you can decide what to do before listing. During an inspection, a licensed professional examines the condition of the roof, structure, exterior, interior, insulation, and the electrical, heating, cooling, and plumbing systems. A good inspector will go into crawl spaces and attics, but will not usually open walls or floors in search of problems. After a 2-3 hour long examination, the inspector will issue a report that details what needs to be done. If the visual inspection suspects further problems, such as mold, unsafe wiring, or termite damage, he may suggest further evaluation. The pre-inspection report prevents surprises.
A pre-listing inspection is also a reality check, Most homes have problems that develop after years of use that do not make the home unsafe or even unlivable. A good home inspection from a third party will not sound the alarm over cosmetic issues or minor problems. It gives you a way to assure the buyer that the home is sound and a good value.
Dealing With The Results Of A Home Inspection
When faced with the results of a home inspection, you have choices that enable you to present the home well. Here are some possible scenarios:
The inspection reveals minor problems. If there are ceiling stains in the room below the bathroom, the issue could be faulty caulking or a leaky pipe, minor issues. You can fix the leaks and repaint the ceiling before a prospective buyer sees the stains and assumes more serious problem.
The inspection uncovers a more serious problem than you want to fix. Armed with knowledge about potential safety issues and the condition of various home systems, you can make repairs and disclose them to future buyers. Buyers prefer to hear of a problem that was repaired and see the receipts rather than have to worry about doing the repair.
You learn that the home needs a costly repair you does not want to make. If you can’t make the repair, you should consider the cost of repairs when pricing the home. Buyers may want a further discount on the price for repairs that need to be made, but if you offer a copy of repair estimates, you can substantiate the price in view of needed repairs. By disclosing known defects, you can deflect lawsuits if the buyer later finds a problem.
Statistics show that buyers ask for $2-3 for every dollar of repairs they anticipate making on a come. Skittish buyers want to make sure that they have enough to make the repairs. You can often make the repairs for less. One caution: Though sellers are reluctant to spend too much on repairs that will benefit the next owner, a buyer’s home inspection may uncover a shoddy repair.
Sell Your Home Once
Where having the pre-inspection report done really saves time and money is in the negotiation phase. You are upfront about any known defects the home has, so both the price and the buyer’s offer should be made in view of the condition. Even if the buyer includes his own home inspection as a condition in his offer, it should not unveil major surprises. There will be less need for aggravating, costly renegotiation after the contract is signed. Even better, buyers cannot walk away from a deal because of material defects. Once your home is sold, it will be sold.
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Roy Thomas SRES® (Senior’s Real Estate Specialist) is a REALTOR® with Sutton Group Professional Realty. Since 1991, Roy specializes in helping retirees with their later in life real estate transactions. Call Roy at 902-497-3031 or contact Roy here