The Seller & Inspections

Just about a month ago I did a post offering tips for sellers who are doing home inspections prior to listing. Well, here’s a good reason why sellers should always inspect before their home goes on the market. Some clients of mine found a house they loved and, wanting to do some investigation about it asked for the disclosure packet on the place. There wasn’t any….just the sellers standard transfer disclosure statement. We negotiated back and forth for awhile and came to an agreement on price that was in fact a very good deal for the buyers. Following our opening of escrow we did inspections. The pest inspection came in around $15,000 and featured dry rot in various places, including several windows. The property inspection showed issues such as an unbolted foundation, unsafe modifications on floor joists done to accommodate some duct work as well as a variety of other smaller items that would indeed need attention. The bottom line when it came to all repairs was around $38,000.

Here’s the thing…once you’re in escrow this all amounts to and enormous amount of leverage in favor of the buyer! As a seller wanting to market your home you now have entered into a brave new world of disclosure issues that include multiple new reports from contractors and engineers that will certainly diminish the value of the property going forward if the buyers are not satisfied and back out. If you’re thinking that you can just say no…forget it. The seller will undoubtedly have to fix the lions share of the discovered issues anyway just to eliminate massive value erosion at the home.  If you think you’re protected by that “As Is” addendum you signed…forget it. The “As Is” addendum only is relevant to those items known and disclosed. Nobody is expected to take a property “As Is” without knowing all the details about the issues of the home that will effect it’s value. This reason alone is possibly the best one for doing your own inspections up front. You will then have the ability to negotiate a true “As Is” sale when the opportunity arises.

If you know the facts it’s going to be alot easier to negotiate an idea like splitting the costs of these fixes when the initial offer comes in, versus when you’re 2 weeks into an escrow. You may end up fixing everything anyway, but your chances are better for saving some money doing it earlier rather than later.

Seriously, who cares if you need to spend $750.00 to do the inspections up front. It could be the best investment you can make. Also, it’s quite possible that having discovered some necessary work you can simply get it done right away and really give yourself more leverage from a marketing standpoint. There really is no downside for doing inspections up front.

Comments

  1. Completely agree. If the property owner does an inspection before listing it. All the mystery of when the buyer does their own inspection should have a) already been answered and if required b) hopefully already addressed allowing for a smoother transaction. Great blog post!

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