The home inspector’s arrival can be very exhausting for the home seller as in today’s market, home buyers will want to have each and very issue fixed prior to buying a home. With so many homes on the market, home buyers can always find a home seller willing to do fix all the repairs no matter how minor just to sell their home, therefore the visit from the home inspector can be devastating to the home seller.
David Tamny, owner of Professional Property Inspection in Columbus, Ohio stated, “The first thing for people to realize when selling their house is the inspector is always going to find something wrong.” This is true even if you have done all the maintenance and kept your home in tip top shape, the inspector will find a problem.
In the majority of cases, problems found are minor or are inexpensive to repair; therefore, the home seller can do the repairs or allow a credit for the home buyer to fix these issues. Tamny stated that major repairs or not being to negotiate could stop the deal.
Of course, it is best for the home seller to have the home as ready as they can prior to the inspection.
The sad news is that if major problems are found during the inspection it can cost the home owner more in the way of lowering the price of the home explained, Dan Steward, president of Pillar to Post, a home-inspection company and went on to say, “For every real dollar of cost, the buyer thinks it’s $2 or $3 more.”
The best way to be ready for a home inspection is to first inspect your home before putting it on the market. A pre-listing inspection will let you know exactly what needs to be repaired before you begin allowing buyers into your home.
Tamny explained that most home sellers do not spend money on an inspection, as they know the home buyer will have an inspection done before buying. One thing to remember, if you do a pre-listing inspection, you are obligated to disclose this information to potential buyers.
Brandi Pearl Thompson, an agent in the Chattanooga, Tennessee, area stated that in order to save money it is best to speak with a real estate agent to look over the home. Real estate agents may not have the expertise as a home inspector but they have been through many closings and will notice if something in the home will put up a red flag.
Thompson went on to say that home sellers need to look at their home with a critical eye from the ceiling to the floor, the floor by appliances, under sinks, check for water damage, check faucets, and even door handles. Walk through the home as if you are looking to buy instead of sell. This will give you an idea of what other home buyers will notice.
“Walk out of the house, turn around and walk in with fresh eyes,” Thompson said.
A home inspector will look for problems such as heating, cooling, water damage, electrical problems, leaks, mold, structural problems, plumbing issues, and termites. The inspector will also look at any of the do it yourself items in the home such as decks and ceiling fans to ensure these items were installed properly and are safe.
You can either repair on these issues or be prepared to tell explain to a potential buyer how you will address the issues such as discount on the price, etc…
Watch all those little things like clean gutters, windows can open and close, flaking paint, cracked caulking, broken windows, and leaky faucets.
You should also have the heating and cooling systems serviced by a profession so they are in good shape, Thompson said.
Of course, do not expect that once you do fix these issues that nothing will be found. The home buyer will have a to do list. Major problems or even a long list of small expensive problems can cause a potential buyer to look elsewhere for their new home.
Tamny explained, “Buyers get overwhelmed and decide not to pursue a remedy. They’re overwhelmed with the stuff that is going wrong,”
“If nothing is disclosed and the buyer’s inspector finds stains or an active water leak, there’s a red flag,” Steward stated. “It doesn’t always make a deal fall apart; it makes a deal not progress smoothly because the buyer is now worried… ‘If I didn’t see that, what else didn’t the seller tell me?’”
Some of the requests will be reasonable while other requests such as cosmetic issues can be declined by the seller, explained Thompson said, and went on to say, “Keep in mind they still kept your home in mind over the others and once someone falls in love, they do tend to overlook some of the little things.”