A Seller’s FIRST Choice to Minimize Home Inspection Issues.

by Jack Morrison on February 24, 2016

When selling your home, one of best methods to minimize home inspection issues is to have a home inspection before listing your home.

In my book, the 21 Commandments Every Home Buyer or Selling In Massachusetts Needs To Know, Section 3, Seventeenth Commandment, Thou Shall Have A Home Inspection Before Listing,  I suggest a seller conduct a home inspection.   Homeowners should be aware of the condition of their property before selling.  When sellers expect top dollar for their home, the house should be in top condition…in my opinion.

Here are my 4 reasons why a seller should obtain a home inspection:

  1. Know the problems before listing the property. Having a home inspection identifies potential problems.  Knowing the problems, a seller can determine if they want to fix it or reveal it.  Don’t let a buyer discover the problem at home inspection.    It will cost the seller a buyer or more money in negotiations.   Instead, fix it or reveal it.  A potential buyer will appreciate your honestly and truthfulness.   Remember, the purpose of a home inspection is to determine the condition of the house…not another opportunity to negotiate the selling price.
  2. Get costs estimates to resolve the problems. Know your numbers. Whether a seller makes the repairs or negotiates the repairs with a buyer, you need to have a dollar amount associated with the repair.  The costs will vary.  Having an estimate of the cost of the repair gives you a guideline to negotiate a price reduction.  When a buyer asks for a $5,000 concession for a mold remediation problem, your estimate of $1,200 from a licensed mold elimination professional brings the negotiations into a more “realistic” range.
  3. Minimize Surprises. The last thing a buyer wants to see at a home inspection are major problems with the house.   I’m sure most sellers want to minimize surprises as well.   One of the best ways to do this is to have a home inspection.   At a minimum, most home inspections should reveal obvious deficiencies.  Know in advance what’s needed to bring the condition of your house to an acceptable level.
  4. Ethical Issues. As a seller, you don’t have to reveal problems with your home unless specially asked.    This is known as caveat emptor,  which means “buyer beware.” I know that this is the law, but I don’t agree with it.   I believe that sellers should reveal known problems or fix them… don’t hide them.   Again, this is my opinion.   I believe this because I have seem many deals fall apart when a buyer discovers problems where a seller has knowledge.  It’s a shame.   The buyer become very defensive.  They may negotiate a price reduction.    Others, just cancel the deal.   They believe there are other items that the seller is hiding and not telling them.  When things go bad, everyone wants to point a finger.

Knowing the condition of the property before listing puts the power into the hands of the seller.   Having known problems repaired or revealed can provide a potential buyer with confidence and trust that the seller isn’t “hiding” anything.   A home inspector may report evidence of recent repairs to the property.   This further supports a seller’s credibility.

Until next time.

 

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