The UNspection

Whoever gets the home inspection has the upper hand

Knowledge is power. It is also a powerful negotiating tool. Many home sellers think that their house is in “good shape” when they put it on the market. They agree on a price to list it and wait for the offers to come in. They accept an offer and wait for escrow to close. Of course, there is a pesky home inspection that takes place which can reveal some (or many) defects in the house. Sure enough, the potential buyer asks the seller to reduce their price, fix a laundry list of items, or they simply pull out of the escrow. By having a house inspected prior to putting it on the market, a seller will find out how his house looks to a buyer’s inspector. The seller can learn about defects about which even the most meticulous homeowner may be unaware. Significant items such as damaged ducts, missing insulation, water stains at the sheathing – all of which will be found by the buyer’s inspector. We spoke to Debbie York from Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Vista, California. She has been having her clients get a pre-listing inspection for well over a year, with great results.

“In the last 15 months of using a Pre-Listing Home Inspection every one of my sellers has saved money because they had the opportunity to prepare their home in advance for the market. The Pre-Listing Home Inspection puts the sellers in the driver’s seat and places them in a better negotiating position. Items in the Home Inspection were repaired by their choice of service person or contractor. They could obtain bids, negotiate the price or in some cases do some of the work themselves. They were not under the time crunch of inspection periods or buyers threatening to cancel.”

Very often, a buyer will ask for items like an AC unit to be completely replaced at the cost of many thousands of dollars. A seller may be able to avoid the entire issue by simply having the unit serviced as a result of a pre-listing home inspection.

“Sellers do not know the condition of their homes; in some cases, they were very surprised by the findings. In each case, the home sold for nearly full price or more because the buyers knew they were getting a well-maintained property. The full written report also gives the seller another layer of protection. Sellers must disclose everything they know about their home, in addition, they provided a detailed home inspection to prospective buyers for review. A home is far less likely to fall out of escrow due to something discovered in the Home Buyers Inspection.”

Buyers can become wary of a house due to a lot of maintenance items noted in the inspection report even if they aren’t that significant. Numerous deferred maintenance items give the appearance that a house was not well maintained. This can make potential buyers concerned that expensive repairs lie just around the corner. A smart seller will “clean up” these small items which ultimately make a buyer much more confident in their decision. The Real Estate Inspection Company offers several discounts for bundling complimentary services with a pre-listing inspection such as drain line video inspections and mold/allergy air sampling.