Monday, April 7, 2014

Home Inspections - Be prepared

Home Inspections - Be Prepared

Home Inspections can be the bane of a Realtor's existence.  It can cause anguish to a home seller and anxiety for a buyer.  Here are some tips for all parties involved to help make this part of a transaction uneventful.

Sellers:  You might consider having a pre-listing inspection completed.  Surprises might be fun for your birthday or Christmas, but they are NOT fun when you are counting on a closing date and something in the buyers inspection throws a wrench in the whole deal.  Once you get the results - have your Realtor go over the report with you and note any items that a typical buyer would expect to be fixed.  Have the repairs completed by a reputable, licensed contractor and keep a copy of the invoice.  When you list the home, you can offer a copy of the inspection to any prospective buyer along with any invoices for completed repairs. This shows a lot of care of good faith to a buyer knowing you cared enough to be transparent about the condition of your home.  Who knows, they might even waive doing an inspection of their own.

Sellers:  You should pull out any permits or warranties you might have for improvements to your home. This is particularly important if you have recently replaced a roof, HVAC, major mechanical items, etc.  You will be disclosing any possible defects or past issues on your Indiana State disclosure - so if you have addressed any of these issues - be sure to have some sort of documentation.

Realtors and Sellers:  Once you list your home, have an accepted contract and a buyer has scheduled their own inspection there are some ways you can best present your home.  Have all pets out of the home. Make sure access to crawl spaces and attics are free and clear.  Be sure there aren't any burned out bulbs in attics, closets, etc.  Lastly - makes plans to be gone during the inspection.  Buyers typically will accompany their inspector and it is very uncomfortable to have you present during this time.  It can take 2-3+ hours depending on the size of the home.

Buyers:  Even though I recommended a pre-listing inspection be done by the seller, I am NOT recommending that you accept that report.  If I was representing you as a client, I would still recommend you complete your own inspection.  You know how they always recommend getting 2 estimates for any large item?  Well, you are about to make the largest investment of your lifetime - so a 2nd opinion is definitely warranted.  Once you get the results back, consult with your Realtor as to which items warrant asking for repairs.  Warranted items typically should fall into categories of "health, safety and habitability" issues. Cosmetic issues do not qualify as a warranted item.

It's all about communication - isn't that true about most of life?

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