Sellers, Get an Inspection Before you List!

By Beacon Staff

In real estate one usually believes that there are things buyers do and things sellers should do, and that’s how the process works. And yes, there are long lists of items which need to be covered by buyers and sellers separately, however here is one item, which as a seller, may make your house stand out to an interested buyer.

Getting your property inspected before your house goes on the market, really is a smart thing to do. The reason buyers get properties inspected is because they want an inventory of what they are buying. This same reasoning applies to sellers. Most purchase contracts fall out do to financing conditions or unforeseen property inspection issues. If you can mitigate the inspection before you list, you as the seller, have all of the information.

Just say for example, Mr. Seller puts his older, Kalispell house on the market for $199,900. A buyer is found, and offers $192,500, contingent upon getting the house inspected. A certified home inspector finds that there is an issue with a water leak under the house, and there is older electrical wiring in the attic. Bids from contractors come back at $1500.00 in repairs. Mr. Buyer is willing to move forward and purchase the house, if the seller makes the repairs by licensed contractors, reduces the price or gives the buyer some type of $1500.00 concession. Mr. Seller is already at his bottom line, didn’t foresee these new problems, which in some way have to be resolved, in order to keep the deal alive. If the issues cannot be resolved, the qualified buyer may walk away, and Mr. Seller will have to disclose these new items in an updated property disclosure statement for other potential buyers.

However, if before listing his house, Mr. Seller contacted his realtor and asked for a list of recommend home inspectors, and paid the fee for a home inspection; Mr. Seller would have had these problems identified. He now has the choice of fixing and repairing the problems, or just getting bids for costs. Mr. Seller will most likely recoup the money when pricing and negotiating his sales price, because he now has all the information. In fact, selling an older home can be a challenge in today’s “new is everything” market-place. Whatever you can do to set your property apart from the competition, will only help you. When I show buyers older homes, I know first hand how valuable it is to say, well the homeowner just had the property inspected, there were a few issues, but here are the receipts of the completed work, and the contractors who performed the work. Usually, the buyer says, wow, this seller is ready to sell!

The other issue at hand here is disclosure. Many buyers are very savvy about disclosure. If you have the property inspected before you list, you now have evidence that you have had an inventory of the property and can now include the inspection to your property disclosure statement, potentially keeping yourself out of trouble.