Imagine what happens when there is not a pre-listing inspection. The buyer contracts for the home with a provision for professional home inspection. When it is made, there could be things that the buyer didn’t expect or even, anticipate. If it doesn’t trigger an action to terminate the contract, the buyer will inevitably, ask the seller to make all the repairs.
When presented with the buyer’s request, the seller may take the opposite position of not wanting to do any of the repairs. The buyer could accept the property in its “as is” condition or negotiate the repairs or a reduced price with the seller.
Any experienced agent can tell you that sometimes a mutually agreed negotiation is reached and other times, an impasse is met that cannot be resolved. The contract is terminated, and the house has to go back on the market but this time, a disclosure has to be made to all parties looking at the home which may deter showings.
Taking a pro-active approach, by obtaining a pre-listing inspection, the seller can find out about things that will probably show up in a buyer’s inspection. They can get them repaired before the home is shown and it will help the buyer feel more confident with the home. Another option would be to disclose them as not working and make a price adjustment, either way, the seller is in control and is taking a position of transparency with potential buyers.
In some cases, the pre-listing inspection may show things in working order that the buyer’s inspection indicates as needing repair. With two disinterested parties having opposing opinions, negotiations have a more likely chance for a mutual agreement.
Disclosing things that are not in working order can reduce liability in the future. Some deficiencies with the home are not discovered prior to the closing and the surprise issues could lead to liability. The pre-listing inspection by a professional combined with the seller disclosing it properly can reduce potential liability.
For the small investment in the pre-listing inspection, the benefits are well worth the expense. For example, it can provide opportunities to take care of potential issues on your own time with control over who does the work at a certain cost. For a qualified do-it-yourself type homeowner, some items may lend to offering you to perform the work before a buyer puts the house in contract. This can save a lot of money and time without needing the work of a contractor, although it can be risky to take on the liability if repairs are not performed correctly and to code.
You and potential buyers will also have a better idea of the condition of your property and know what to expect. You can present the property in a transparent way that will build confidence with the buyer. You’ll avoid unpleasant surprises as well as possible delays or terminations. Starting over as a seller can be a very challenging hurdle to overcome depending on the market conditions. Pre-listing inspections can lead to faster sales and satisfaction for everyone involved.
For more information, download the Sellers Guide.
A home inspector is another key professional involved in a real estate transaction. Many times, the sales contract will have a provision that allows the purchaser to have inspections made to discover issues that are not readily apparent or have not been disclosed by the seller.
It is important to have a qualified individual perform the inspection. Regardless of whether a license is required, buyers should ask about the inspector’s experience, training, years in business and if they are familiar with the area and type of property involved.
Membership in professional associations can indicate an inspector’s commitment to education and training. References from both customers and agents are helpful and may be more meaningful. You are encouraged to call the references, especially, if you are concerned about any specific areas.
Errors and Omission insurance is intended to cover mistakes made during an inspection. It would be good to find out if the inspector has this type of insurance and how mistakes are handled or if omissions are made.
Find out exactly what is included in the inspection and what will trigger the inspector to recommend that you get an opinion by a specialist. They should be able to provide you with a sample report so you can see the detail with which the items will be explained. Ask if items that need attention will also be documented with pictures.
Some inspectors will allow you to accompany them during the inspection. They will be able to point out their concerns and answer any questions you may have about different things. An inspection can take two to three hours depending on the size of the property.
Generally, there is a time allotted in the sales contract for the inspections to be made and not completing them in a timely fashion could waive your right to use the contingency. Your real estate professional will be able to guide you through this process.
If you would like any professional residential Real Estate advice, contact us at Paramount Real Estate Services. 1008 12th St. SE Salem, OR 97302 503-851-1645
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