Not so long ago home inspections were viewed as something that only buyers requested. In
recent years, however, inspections ordered by sellers before their home goes on the market have gained in acceptance and popularity.
One reason is that savvy sellers recognize the knowledge gained from a pre-sale inspection of their property can offer advantages
when it comes to pricing, marketing, negotiating, and dealing with post-sale legal issues.
So, how can a pre-sale home inspection benefit a seller?
- Easier and more realistic pricing. A professional home inspection helps with
pricing in two important ways. First, it helps move a seller’s mindset toward increased objectivity. It
is no surprise that sellers often have a difficult time remaining impartial about their own property. It is home after
all, and that sentimental value can translate into a price higher than the market will bear. The inspection
report gives the seller objective information to factor into the pricing decision. Second, the inspection report reflects
the current condition of the property – good, bad, or ugly. A seller can take that true condition into consideration
and set the price lower if the home has deficiencies and higher if the home is meticulously maintained and upgraded.
- Enhanced marketing impact. Prospective buyers are likely to find a pre-inspected home
more attractive because the “what if” factor is not as great. Their comfort level is increased. Therefore
mentioning the completion of a pre-sale inspection when marketing a home can boost interest levels of both buyers and real
estate agents with qualified prospects. It can even tip the scales in the seller’s favor if buyers are looking
at similar homes and the competing properties do not have the benefit of a pre-sale inspection report.
- Greater negotiating leverage. Having the details of current property condition
is an important advantage. Sellers discover any issues that might delay or derail the transaction and can make advance
repairs, thus heading off potential price concessions sought by buyers. Even if the seller elects not to make repairs,
disclosing any defects upfront and pointing out that the price is adjusted accordingly can deflate buyer’s objections.
And, armed with solid knowledge of current property condition and the inspection report to back it up, a seller’s confidence
level and leverage in the negotiating process increases.
More accurate disclosure. Many communities require sellers to disclose the true
condition of their home. Having a professional home inspection puts a seller in a better position to do that.
Also having an inspection report from an unbiased third party can help protect the seller should any post-sale legal issues
surface from buyers who claim that an adverse condition was not disclosed. While the inspection is no guarantee that
the dispute will be settled in the seller’s favor, the fact that it was done demonstrates a good faith effort on the
part of the seller to determine the real property condition at the time of the sale.
Buyers will most likely still request a professional inspection of their own. And sellers
can encourage them to do so with the comfort that any unpleasant surprises that could be “deal breakers” are unlikely.
Before the Buyers Inspection
1. Clean the House
This sounds so simple yet home owners often overlook this tactic. Home inspectors are people first and inspectors
second. As people, they carry preconceived ideas of how well a home has been maintained. Clean homes say you care and take
care of the house.
2. Be On Time Because the Inspector Will BeSometimes home inspectors are early.
If an inspector makes an appointment with you for 9:00 a.m., have the house ready for inspection at 8:30. It's also common
for inspectors to start on the exterior of the home, so leave the shades down or drapes drawn until you are dressed. More
than one unprepared seller has been "surprised" by a stranger stomping around in the back yard.
3. Leave the Utilities ConnectedThe home inspector will need to turn on the stove,
run the dishwasher, test the furnace and air conditioning, so leave the utilities on, especially if the house is vacant. It's
impossible to check receptacles for grounding and reverse polarity if the power is turned off. Without utilities, the inspector
will have to reschedule, which could delay the closing of your transaction and the removal of the buyer's home inspection
4. Provide Workspace Around Furnace and Water Heaters
Remove boxes, bookcases, furniture and anything else blocking access to your furnace, air conditioner
and water heater. The inspector will need three to four feet of working space to inspect these items.
5. Keep Pilot Lights IgnitedMany home inspectors will refuse to light pilot lights
because they are not covered for that type of liability. If your pilot lights are not lit, then important items such as the
water heater, gas stove or furnace will not be inspected and the buyer could delay closing until those inspections are completed.
6. Provide Access to Attic and GarageThe inspector will need to get into your basement
and / or attic as well, so keep a path cleared. Move boxes away from the walls. Vacuum spider webs.
7. Leave Keys for Outbuildings & Electrical BoxesLeave the remote controls for
your garage door opener or a key if the garage is unattached to the house. Unlock the covers for your sprinkler system and
electrical box. Leave a key for exterior building access.
8. Clear Away Brush from Exterior Inspection PointsNobody expects you to shovel
a tunnel around your home if snow drifts are blocking the foundation but, in the winter, do provide a path around the house.
In the summer, cut down dead tree branches and clear brush from the foundation. Move trash cans away from the house.
9. Provide Repair DocumentsMake available to the home inspector all invoices and
documents regarding remodeling projects or new items such as a roof or furnace. If you've upgraded the electrical from ungrounded
to grounded, installed a new dishwasher or repaired a leaky faucet, find the paperwork. It will give the buyer peace of mind
to know those items were reinspected.
10. Prepare to be Away for Three Hours MinimumOften the buyer will accompany the
home inspector, and buyers feel uncomfortable asking questions if the owner is present. Try to schedule a time for the inspection
when you can be out of the house, and take the children with you. Crate your pets if you cannot remove them from the premises.
I have watched Keller grow over the years that I have been in Texas. So many have moved from other parts of the country
as times got tough in their home states.
I know what can happen to Real Estate transactons when the sellers have high expectations for what their home is worth
and then the buyer has an inspection and several major or a lot of minor concerns are found in the home. This always back
the transaction up a bit with the buyer wishing to renegotiate. Don't let this happen to you.
Please do not hold up the sale of the home in the buyers market. Money lending is down. Keep the price of your home up.
Avoid costly re-negotiations with a pre-listing home inspection.
Give us a call for all your Home Inspection, Termite & Pest Control Needs
We are situated
on the Keller/Fort Worth border. A large portion of our Inspections are in and around Keller.
your convenience we are more available to perform inspections daily in Keller.
Our years of experience and schooling and continuing education and the multiple thousands of Inspections
performed in this area benefit you greatly. That is where your peace of mind comes in.
Keller what rated and still is as a boomburb. Money magazine rated Keller number 7 out of 10 best
places to live. Median Family income is in the $120,000.00 range. Keller's 56 square miles leaves plenty of room for future
Just going to the cities website www.cityofkeller.com will lead you to a plethora of information about the city.
Parks, a water park, city municipal building, fire and police department all updated and mostly new as the city has
been growing. Shopping, restaurants? There is more than one could need. The major cities surrounding Keller such as Fort Worth
and Dallas and neighbors such as Southlake, Grapevine, Colleyville will leave you wanting for nothing. Lakes? I think there
are a hundred or more in the Metroplex. Zoos, city parks, Arboretums are all right next door.
I am here at you convenience. If you are from out of town or out of state rest at ease. I have
lived in three states and several cities in each state. I know what it is like to move to a new area and trying to settle
Put your trust in a Keller Home Inspector
performing you Inspection that has a proven record of knowledge and experience. Inspecting is my passion in life. Partner
with me for a professional and enjoyable Inspection experience.