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4 Reasons For Home Inspection Before Putting A House On Sale
Some home sellers are against having the home inspected before putting it on the market for sale.
Despite this behavior seemingly going against the grain of what a seller should do, there is a legal argument to it.
The argument is that a seller is not at fault if he did not inform a buyer of problems which he had no knowledge of. Having a home inspection conducted by a licensed inspector will essentially mean that the seller would be informed of any issues and problems that a house has.
Sometimes experienced agents also advise homeowners not to disclose issues upfront, but just before a deal is struck.
This helps to get potential buyers emotionally attached to the house before knowing the problems that he would inherit. And since the information is disclosed, albeit at a later stage, the seller has played his part in informing the buyer of whatever problems he will face in the short and long term due to home defects.
So the question, if you are a seller, is should you order a proper home inspection before putting the property up for sale in the market.
I strongly suggest that you do. And here are the reasons why.
1) Give potential buyers lesser reasons to negotiate price
Some real estate agents advocate that after problems have been identified by an inspector, that the seller do not rectify them.
Repair works can be costly.
What they should consider is to reveal to buyers what problems have been found and also provide repair estimates that buyers can expect.
This can make a lot of sense.
Because if we take a roof that is leaking for example. A new owner might already have plans to replace it with his own preferences when it comes to the roof. He might even want to install solar panels for energy efficiency. So it was already in the prospect’s mind to totally replace the roof.
So if you are to spend your own money to hire roofer to fix any problems, the money will essentially be going down the gutters since the whole roof will eventually be replaced.
Yet there is a drawback to this line of thought.
The problem is that you don’t know what a buyer would really want to do to the house. He might really be ready to replace the whole roof but did not reveal it. With you stating that there is a problem with the roof, it could trigger the buyer to go into negotiating mode and start busting your ball about it.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to this tactic.
On the other hand, if a serious buyer arrives, and have a limited budget to work with, declaring the existence of a defective heating system for example can be a real turn-off.
When you are able to identify problems before putting the house on the market, you will be able to do a little damage control.
You can get the issues fixed so that it never becomes an issue used as ammunition during negotiation.
And if you do have a little background in negotiation, you will know that once you take a step backwards, other parties can see that as an invitation to push you further back.
2) Clearer picture of the proceeds from the sale
I don’t know how some people can advise sellers to attempt to avoid having to pay for defects.
Because one way or another, the seller will have to pay for them eventually. And for those who do get away from having to pay for them by lying through their teeth, I don’t know how they can live with themselves.
If you feel responsible in selling a fully functional house without major defects, then the odds are that you will fix the problem before hand or declare it to potential buyers.
Either way, you will have to pay for the repairs or deduct a certain amount from the asking price to factor in the costs that the buyer will have to incur for the fixes.
Knowing the costs that you will incur will give you a better picture of the net proceeds you will collect when the transaction is finalized.
This enables you to financially plan the budget for your next house. Or for the other investments you intend to spend the proceeds on.
3) Fix all minor defects
If you personally grade your house with an ‘A’ in terms of condition, you are in for a HUGE surprise once a licensed home inspector is done with his job.
Home inspectors are professionals who have a keen eye for every defect (big or small) in the house. Many have spent decades in the industry with a level of expertise that the average person cannot comprehend.
By identifying all the major problems and minor defects that exist in the house, you have a chance to rectify all the small defective stuff.
This can help you avoid the awkward situation when a visitor ask you about the popping laminates during the open house.
And since buyers cannot be assumed to know their stuff, a minor defect can be interpreted as a big problem by buyers who don’t know any better. Resulting in them walking away.
All easy fixes should be carried out. Don’t be lazy.
4) Safety and health hazards
I don’t know about you. But I won’t want a buyer of a property of mine to suffer injuries or health issues due to my negligence in upkeeping that house.
Without going into the part about liabilities, it is just bad karma and irresponsible as a human being to sell a hazardous house to someone else.
An inspector would be able to list down all safety and health hazards that he has observed. And even suggest or recommend remedies to fix them.
It just gives you peace of mind that the next owner will be safe.
Finally, even if you don’t intend to spend money on an inspection, the chances are that a buyer might call for one before signing on the dotted line.
It won’t look good at all if his inspectors are able to discover serious issues that you have no knowledge of. You should after all, know the house better than anyone else.