Why a Home Seller should consider Pre-Sale Inspection and Testing

Increasingly, sellers are having their home inspected before putting it up for sale, and for good reasons:

A last-minute house inspection, ordered by the buyer, may reveal problems that delay the closing or even cancel the sale. The home inspector may report defects and deficiencies that the seller was wholly unaware of and caught by surprise when these concerns are raised by the buyer. The buyer may want out, even if the seller offers to make all the necessary repairs. Buyers may not be interested in a house with a basement with signs of past flooding, or foundation cracks that suggest unstable soils and further movement will occur, etc. The buyer may want to re-negotiate the accepted offer price for the property.

It is best for all parties concerned for the seller to be prepared in advance and informed of all defects and deficiencies. If the seller knows beforehand about any defects or deficiencies, they can attend to them – or inform any buyers who come to look at the house – and not have the closing delayed or called off because the problem is discovered only later. If an inspection reveals major, costly problems, the sellers – if they don’t want to take on the expense – can reduce their asking price to compensate the buyer.

An inspection report may reassure buyers about the condition of a house. At some point in the negotiations, the seller could say, “I had the entire house inspected recently, I’m happy to share the report with you. You can see for yourself what was found. And, of course, you can have your own inspection done.” This can help a wary buyer feel more comfortable about moving ahead with the purchase process.

In a buyer’s market, when buyers have many choices, little things can mean a lot. Having written evidence that a house is shipshape, while (perhaps) saving the buyers a few hundred dollars on an inspection, may tilt buyers in you direction.

If buyers are interested in your house but skeptical of the inspection company that you hired, encourage them to hire their own company.  Be sure that the buyers don’t insert a contingency clause so vague that they can bow out on a whim (if the inspector’s report is “unsatisfactory”, for example).

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