A home inspection is something most commonly ordered by a buyer as a kind of insurance policy and/or escape clause from the purchase agreement. Why would a home inspection (and especially its cost, however modest) make sense for the seller, let alone help him? The answer lies in making his property stand out above the rest, to make it as attractive as it can be. In tough times like today it is particularly important to do what it takes to command a reasonably high price in a difficult market. Let's see how this works.
A pre-listing home inspection is designed to take care of problems before buyers become aware of them. Some home inspector is going to assess your home anyway; why not beat the buyer to the punch in the spirit of full disclosure? This up-front posture is appealing and those interested in your house will assign it value. In a way, having an inspection ahead of time produces the same benefits as staging your home. It tends to avert disappointments such as drawn-out negotiations, contract terminations, and low-priced offers.
Home Inspection Cost and Checklist
True, doing this involves additional money the seller wouldn't otherwise spend. But he is most likely planning to incur some expenses to fix up his home, and he should think of the inspection cost in the same vein. The cost is not that much and he should expect to recover at least what he puts out through a higher closing price. However, he should not sacrifice quality for price by going with some Cheap Charlie; thoroughness and detailed documentation are essential.
Another must is an inspector who adheres rigidly to state and professional Standards of practice and who uses an extensive home inspection checklist. These aspects foster consistency and help to assure that some other inspector (hired by a potential buyer) isn't going to find a significantly different set of issues. The whole idea is to have your house examined in detail with a fresh set of eyes.
Another reason not to skimp when hiring is that inspection report quality varies quite a bit from one inspector to another; detail, cogency, and completeness are invaluable. The seller should expect the report to categorize defects as: major problems that require immediate repairs, minor ones that call for monitoring and/or evaluation, safety issues that present hazards or potential hazards, and saturated wood or other conditions conducive to infestation by wood-destroying organisms.
Without letting his emotions interfere, the seller should view the report with buyer eyes, identifying deal breakers and high-priority items if he were interested in purchasing his house. Then he should attend and remedy those items, either himself or with the aid of contractors. Only after everything is fixed does he place his home on the market.
Now, in the spirit of disclosing everything, he displays the inspection report where agents and their clients can read it. He also attaches all statements of work to show that important defects called out in the report have been addressed.
The seller should expect potential buyers to set aside their worries once they examine the shared report and work statements. Perhaps they won't even bother making their offers contingent on a separate home inspection, considering it unnecessary. By assigning value to the seller's proactive approach, buyers tend to be more willing to pay full asking price. In fact, one should not be surprised to receive more than one offer. Ideally, the seller recovers all his costs, sells his home quickly, gets top dollar, and experiences a harmonious transaction.
Tags: ASHI, Home Inspection, Home Inspection Checklist, Home Inspector, Inspection Cost, Inspection Report, Inspection Services, Washington State
Published on October 15, 2011 | Comments: 0