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Sellers and Home Inspections


One of the main reasons real estate transactions fall apart is because of defects discovered during a buyer’s inspection. Buyers often try to renegotiate the price after they receive their inspection report. Their argument is that they were not aware of the problems when they made their offer.

Some sellers choose the option of a pre-sale inspection. One of the advantages of a pre-sale inspection is that it identifies defects i.e. potential reasons why a prospective buyer may decide not to make an offer. By doing an inspection before you market your home, you decrease the odds that you will have a failed transaction due to inspection-related issues.

Once the issues are identified, you have an opportunity to understand which ones may affect the sale. You can then decide if you want to make repairs before marketing the home. 

Even if the repairs are not made, the process gives you a much better idea of how much you will net from the sale. It also offers you the opportunity to get quotes from qualified professionals and thus have a realistic understanding of what the repairs will cost. By having legitimate quotes in hand, you can avoid an unrealistic and wild guess by the buyer as to what they want to deduct from the original offer.

For those not interested in conducting a pre-sales inspection, here are some ways to make your home inspection go smoother, with fewer concerns to delay the closing.

1. Make sure the inspector has access – not only to the house but also the furnace, water heaters, and air conditioning units –especially in closets, attics and crawl spaces.

2. Remove items blocking access to HVAC equipment, electric service, panels, water heaters etc.

3. Check to see that the garage is open and that any water heaters, utility panels, or shutoffs and resets for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) within are accessible.

4. Unlock areas the inspector must access – attic doors or hatches, electric service panels, closets, fence gates and crawl spaces.

5. Ensure all utility services are on, with gas pilot lights burning.

6. Be sure pets won’t hinder the inspection. Ideally, they should be removed from the premises or secured outside. Tell your agent about any pets at home.

7. Replace burned out bulbs to avoid a “light did not operate” report that may suggest an electrical problem. Also replace broken or missing junction box covers and broken or missing outlet and wall plates.

8. Remove stored items, debris, and wood from the foundation. These may be cited as conditions conducive to wood-destroying insects.

9. Trim tree limbs to 10 feet from the roof and shrubs 2 foot from the house to allow access.

10. Make the remote controls for the garage door, ceiling fan, gas fireplace etc. available.

11. Attend to broken or missing items like doorknobs, locks and latches; windowpanes, screens and locks; or gutters, downspouts and chimney caps.

Checking these areas before your home inspection will expedite your closing.

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