I want to talk a bit about the importance of getting a home inspection when putting your home on the market… from the Seller’s prospective as well as the Buyer’s!
Why should a Seller get their home inspected? The number ONE reason is so you don’t have to negotiate twice or more when you are selling your home! The first negotiation is what you think of traditionally, the price, closing date and terms in the contract. The most stressful is usually the second round of negotiations that start after the home inspection when needed repairs are uncovered! Here is an all too familiar scenario:
In a house I just sold, the Seller and Buyer agreed on price and terms of the contract; we had a full price offer accepted after just 2 days on the market. Five days later in the option period we received word from the Buyer’s Agent that the home inspector called out the electrical panel, plumbing, windows, roof, and the foundation on his report. Now these were first time home buyers that were nervous to begin with, so every detail in the inspection was frightening. After much back and forth, and several amendments later… we finally had our deal done with a valid contract. The Seller ended up replacing the roof, getting foundation repair work done, and offering a credit for further inspection of the plumbing and electrical. This was a very stressful period for everyone, buyer, seller and agents alike. This all could have been avoided had the Seller got an inspection, as they could have decided to have all the repairs done prior to putting the house on the market (at their leisure, NOT in the time constraints of a contract waiting to go to closing!) OR they could have openly disclosed the repairs that were needed and adjusted the price and sold the home “as is.” And, if NO major repairs had turned up on the Seller’s home inspection report, they could have willingly displayed the report in the MLS documents section of the listing as well as leaving a copy of it on the counter for all prospective buyers and/or their Agents to view when touring the property. Hindsight is 20/20… and I failed to convince the Seller to get the inspection. I will try harder next time and I have one more story as to why.
The Buyer’s choice to get an inspection is a bit more obvious… and I have ALWAYS recommended that the Buyer Clients get an inspection when they purchase a home! For the exact reason explained in the scenario above; there could be several major repairs that are uncovered after an offer is accepted that the untrained eye would miss (i.e. roof and foundation)! Next thing you know you are freaking out with the buyers because they think they might have purchased a money pit. On the flip side, however, there are almost always items that could be called out on an inspection that should NOT be negotiated over: a cracked switch plate or a burnt-out appliance bulb, and even some cracks caused by “normal settling” are not cause for alarm, and better left alone unless you are buying new construction.
So, whether you’re looking to buy or sell, a home inspection is a must in either case. The few hundred bucks that it will cost are well worth the price vs. any aggravation that the “unknown” may cause down the road… when it may be too late.
Submitting an offer on a home without ever setting foot inside is not new… and now with the COVID-19 Pandemic, it has become more common place for buyers who simply don't want to take any risks. But is this a smart thing to do?