House Sellers: Get Professional Inspections to Avoid Sales Delays

Happy couple with a new houseA home inspection report with negative findings may surprise and dismay the real estate owner/seller as much as the potential buyer. The seller may genuinely believe the property to be in good shape. Unknown conditions, however – termites, for example – could alter that assessment.

A sale that falls through can be disastrous for the seller, too! He may have purchased a new home, contingent upon the sale of the existing property.
Historically, analysis has been performed at the request of the home buyer. But consider the plight of the property listing seller. He (or she), too, has a lot riding on the transaction. Much has been written of the value a home inspection provides. To a buyer, it is a safety net– a realistic assessment of a property’s condition, and evaluation of deficiencies. Not its primary function, a home inspection can serve as the catalyst for a re-negotiated purchase and sale agreement.
Such re-negotiations may result in repairs assumed by the owner, a reduced selling price, or, where serious defects are discovered, revocation of the offer by the purchaser.
More and more, buyers are having their houses checked prior to purchasing a property. People frequently seek that realistic, third-party, professional assessment to confirm that their choice is sound, or shed light on what future repairs may be needed. While inspectors do not recommend whether a buyer should or shouldn’t purchase, their findings carry considerable influence in the couples purchasing decision.

Good Protection for Listing Sellers Also

Home buyers’ sales agents or lawyers generally recommend an examination. In this case, what’s good for the buyer is also good for the home seller. Because surprises are equally damaging to sellers of property, the seller should get a “pre-sale inspection”.

A professional home inspector is trained to notice what most people are not trained to see. They serve as a detective, looking for existing or potential problems. With no vested interest in the sale of the property, the objective, diagnostic report will enable the real estate seller to determine what needs repair prior to putting up the “for sale” sign and listing the property with a real estate agent.

While an assessment prepared for a seller will not be a substitute for a buyer’s review, it nevertheless serves a useful purpose– alerting the broker to potential conditions that could delay a sale or alter.

People who live in a house get accustomed to the property and may not see conditions as shortfalls that a potential buyer might. A 22-year-old furnace may still be working wonderfully. Statistically, it will need replacement within five years. That’s an outlay of $1,000-$2,500 that the buyer might not anticipate.

Checking ALL, Yes even the Kitchen Sink!

The inspector will also check for wood boring infestation and water penetration, present or past. An inspection will also check the ventilation and insulation in the attic, which provides a better idea of the exact condition of the roof.

Home inspection companies provide two kinds of reports. One is an itemized list with written commentary that is delivered on site. The second is a written narrative that the client receives several days later through the mail. A thorough home inspection takes between two and three hours. It is advisable to accompany the inspector for the complete inspection.

As a prospective listing, an objective, realistic evaluation of your property’s condition will be of great assistance when placing it on the market. Knowing what objections, if any, are likely to be raised in advance will help you deal with them in a way that keeps the transaction moving along smoothly.

In determining if this firm is the right one for you, ask about their level of experience– how many inspections the company has performed, how many they do annually, and what kind of training their inspectors receive.

An engineer will check the complete exterior of the house, including the chimney, surface condition of the roof, gutters, flashings and downspouts. He will check the exterior sill, foundation, and the grading of the lot to be sure it is pitched away from the house. He will then enter the basement and view the mechanicals, such as plumbing, heating, electrical and central cooling system. He will check the sill, foundation, floor joists, main carrying beams and supporting members.
Much has been written of the value a home assessment provides. Not its primary function, a home inspection can serve as the catalyst for a re-negotiated purchase and sale agreement.
More and more, buyers are having home inspections performed prior to purchasing a property. A home inspection report with negative findings may surprise the sellers as much as the buyer. Because surprises are equally damaging to sellers of property, the seller should get a “pre-sale inspection”.

About Tom Driscoll, Certified Home Inspector

Tom has been providing Long Island and New York City with the most thorough and complete home inspections in the industry. We use state of the art equipment to provide you with the best possible home inspection experience possible.

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