15 Mar Seller Pre-Sale Home Inspections
Sellers: Invest in Home Inspections
We are big proponents of disclosure packages, filled with all the juicy details buyers want to see, like structural, pest control and contractors’ inspections. Sellers often ask us: why should I pay to supply property inspection reports to buyers prior to getting offers? Though it is true that this cost can be borne by a buyer after their offer is accepted, there are large advantages for the seller to take this on before any offers are made. In our experience, these advantages far outweigh the additional costs.
First of all, getting pre-sale home inspections helps preclude due-diligence renegotiations, which could add up to tens of thousands of dollars. They also make it far less likely that the transaction will fall out of escrow. These heart-breaking deal enders most often occur when new issues are discovered after the offer is accepted.
Second, if material issues are uncovered by these inspections, it gives the seller time to remediate them appropriately or the listing agent the ability to quantify known defects with professional estimates. Either having the problem fixed, or knowing how much it will cost to be fixed, are very important to buoying prospective buyers’ confidence when they head in to make an offer.
For example, these inspections allow buyers to make no-inspection-contingency offers without the dangerous liability a listing agent and seller should be concerned about when there are no recent pest and contractor inspections. Buyers will often accept property issues and conditions disclosed up front before they make an offer. But if the same issues are revealed later, after the close of escrow, buyers often claim that they have been defrauded, that their quiet enjoyment of their new home has been ruined, and that substantial financial compensation is warranted.
Which brings us to the next advantage of a pre-sale seller home inspection: any transaction allowed to close without recent inspection reports is asking for post-closing trouble. This almost always takes the form of a litigious claim that the seller didn’t disclose a negative material fact about the condition of the property. When this occurs after the close of escrow, it will always cost more in time, energy, aggravation and money than the cost of paying for proper inspections up front.
Finally, pre-marketing inspection reports may help price the property properly to begin with, and may even help substantiate a higher asking price. It’s always good to make prospective buyers as comfortable as possible regarding the condition of the property, because that comfort helps generate higher sales prices, especially in competitive bidding situations.
But remember, your disclosure package is only as good as your inspectors. This is not the time to choose a less well-known, more budget-friendly, option. Always use the most widely respected inspectors in the area and have them do complete and comprehensive inspections. As we have seen time and time again, some extra inspection investment up front can pay dividends in a significantly higher final sales price.
If you are selling your home and want to discuss why we advise our sellers get home inspections please reach out to us. We would be happy to chat.