I have written a blog previously for buyers about home inspections, but over the passed few months I have found that the sellers are the ones needing more guidance when it comes to their homes inspection. So this blog is going to be specifically only for those potential sellers out there !!
First lets talk about what you should do to help the process along !
Tips For Sellers Preparing For A Home Inspection
- Move any smaller furniture that is blocking areas that the home inspector will need to get to (ex: outlets, electrical panels)
- Clean out utility areas (ex: remove clothes from the washer/dryer)
- Make sure all your bulbs are working, sounds silly but important (ex: attic, garage)
- Remove your pets to allow the inspectors to work thru the house without any distractions or potential issue
- THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP: LEAVE and let your real estate agent stay !
Tips For Sellers During The Home Inspection
- If you decide to stay during the home inspection try your best not to try and "explain" things in the house, something you may think is a big deal might not be and visa versa
- Do not try and cover up anything, the home inspectors are thorough and they will find whatever you may have tried to hide and than they will search more to make sure they didn't miss anything
- Do not negotiate on anything during the home inspection, again something that may be a red flag for you may not be for your buyers
- Keep your distance, do not hover over the home inspector stay available IF he has a question otherwise he is a professional allow him to do his job
- Don't expect to have the report immediately the first person to get a copy of your homes inspection will be the potential buyer who than can share it with you
Once the home inspection has occurred is where things may get tricky for a homeowner, this is your second round of negotiations which means the price of what your home sells for just might be changing again!
The agreed upon price of your home before a home inspection 90% of the time is not the actual final price.
If there are safety, structural, electric, plumbing issues in your home that is uncovered you will usually be given the option to either
A: Fix It or B: Give the buyers a credit so they can have it fixed once they take ownership.
Common Items Needing Negotiations
- Underground Oil Tanks - These will require soil testing, filling or removing old tank, installation of new tank
- Asbestos - Not all asbestos is a hazard but a certified professional is the only one who can safely make that determination
- Wiring - Broken electric outlets, outdated service
- Safety Concerns - Raised pavement on walkways, decking
- Roofs - Older or damaged roofs
Where Do The Home Inspectors Inspect ?
There of course are times where if a house is priced well below market value that it will be referred to as "Sold As Is" this is what happens commonly frequently with Short Sales & Foreclosures which means the buyer should have the inspection to make sure they are not getting in over their heads, but should not expect any changes to be made to the contracts or the home.
If you are a homeowner there are some very important things you should remember BEFORE you begin negotiating those items that require repair or credits !
- If there is a significant issue you should try your best to negotiate thru it, because if one home inspector finds it chances are this will be an issue with any buyer
- There are more homes than buyers, if you have a buyer do your best to keep your deal afloat by being fair and realistic
- Just because something does not bother you, it does not mean that the buyer should feel the same as you do about an issue, just like you do not want to give your house away, a buyer does not want to over-pay for a home that requires work
- If you can fix it cheaper than their estimate either A: Suggest getting more estimates B: Offer to fix it
- Trust your Realtor, they should have attended the home inspection, reviewed it and be able to help advise you on what is important
Most importantly always remember that you may not like to hear what we are telling you, but our jobs are not to tell you what you want to hear, it is to make sure you are informed and help you make good decisions during the process of selling your home !!