Conducting inspections is a standard part of most real estate transactions. But, in a highly competitive market like the one we’re currently experiencing, it can be tempting to forego them to make your offer look more attractive as a buyer. As a seller this may sound like a win for you, but if a buyer discovers something frustrating about their new home later on it could still result in legal trouble.
The safest option for your financial security and peace of mind on both sides is always to go for the inspection, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful process. I’m here to make sure you have as much information and preparation as possible going into inspection day, and these are a few important points to consider as it draws near.
1. Seller Inspections: When you sell your home, you have the option to pre-inspect it. Most buyers will still conduct their own inspections after you accept their contract, but there are some advantages to having your own done ahead of time. First of all, if you want to avoid surprises during your buyer’s inspections then this will reveal any potential issues that you may have to address and prepare you for the cost that could be involved. You may also wish to correct any defects revealed in pre-inspections before you put your house on the market to attract more buyers to your property. That may be unnecessary to sell your home in a competitive seller’s market, but if you’re willing to make a little investment on the front end you’re much more likely to generate competing offers and therefore a higher sales price!
2. Negotiations: Inspections are the primary negotiating point in most real estate transactions, so if anything significant is revealed and both parties wish to continue with the transaction they typically pursue one of two options: the sellers will pay out of pocket to repair the items of concern before closing the deal, or the buyers will negotiate the price down and accept the existing defects. While this decision is up to the buyer and seller to agree upon, the best course of action for both parties is to negotiate the price. This avoids disagreements regarding who should complete the repairs or the quality of the workmanship, which can be a big source of contention.
3. Options to Consider: In addition to the standard whole home inspection, buyers may want to conduct other inspections based on the condition and location of the property. If there are any signs of settling in the home, a foundation inspection is always a good idea since those repairs are quite costly. Chimneys are another item that can quickly rack up repair costs if the liner is compromised or there are cracks in the flu, so if you plan to cozy up to the fireplace during cold weather then a chimney inspection is worth the money up front. One important inspection that many buyers and sellers don’t think about but is often needed is a sewer inspection; the homeowner is responsible for the portion of the sewer line on their property, and if it is compromised it can cost thousands of dollars to fix. If the home is in a more rural area and on a septic tank instead of a sewer line, you’ll definitely want to get that checked.
4. Hiring An Inspector: After hiring the right real estate agent (done), one of the most important decisions you make during your transaction is hiring the right inspector. There are a lot of great companies out there and ultimately the decision is up to you, but it’s extremely important to me that you have someone trustworthy who knows their craft and doesn’t have an alarmist nature. I am happy to recommend companies that I have a professional history with and who have proven their trustworthiness and excellence to both myself and my clients.