Should You Get a Pre-Sale Home Inspection?
A pre-sale home inspection will help you have a smoother and easier home sale. If the pre-sale home inspection identifies any issues you can reduce your repair costs or even eliminate the need for any action (or money) at all.
As of March 2022 pre-sale home inspections are becoming more common and expected. Homesellers want the strongest offers possible and the biggest wild card in any transaction is the inspection and subsequent request for repairs. Pre-Sale inspections manage buyer expectations, upfront, and lessen the possibility of renegotiation during escrow.
In order to talk about the importance of a pre-sale home inspection, it is useful to understand what happens if you DON’T get a pre-sale home inspection.
There are three common inspections that most Glendale CA home buyers will do – a general home inspection, a chimney scope, and a sewer scope. These inspections often uncover conditions unknown to the homeowner. (If you are buying in other parts of the country different inspections may apply).
What Will I Have To Fix?
It is normal for the buyer to ask the seller to fix these conditions or use them to renegotiate the deal.
It is also normal for the seller to feel that the request is unfair – they feel the fixes are unnecessary or an upgrade to the home as presented.
But you want to get the home sold so you’ll consider a compromise… but what fixes are “worth it”?
The Most Commonly Requested Repairs Resulting From a Home Inspection
The most common issues identified in a home inspection for Glendale CA homes fall into these main categories:
- Electrical system problems that can lead to safety issues
- Chimney and fireplace issues
- Termite and wood damage
- Drainage and water issues
- Sewer line failures or blockages
- Mechanical or structural failure
- Mechanical or structural systems at or beyond their expected lifespan
- Asbestos material in poor condition
It is important to understand that a homeowner can be completely unaware of problems identified in a home inspection. Toilets can flush and lights can turn on even if the system is already in a state of failure.
The calculus on what you should do is situational. Will you net more money by compensating the buyer for their requested fixes or will you do better with another buyer?
After the Home Inspection, Ask Yourself These Questions
In order to determine the right path it is worthwhile to ask the following questions:
- Will you net more money from the next buyer?
- Are the requested repairs something most buyers would request after a home inspection?
- How long will it take to get the next buyer?
- What will the extra time “cost” in terms of stress, inconvenience or actual money or opportunity lost?
In many cases, the practical business solution (concede money or repairs) is at odds with what the seller would do if they stayed.
But it is worth it in order to get on with their lives.
The Most Surprising Repairs Suggested By a Home Inspection
Buyers will ask for anything that is actually broken, leaking or a critical safety issue. The most frequent “surprises” uncovered by a home inspection are things that function on the surface but are actually broken or hazardous at the source or underneath.
- Electrical outlets that are hidden by furniture
- Water heaters
- Plumbing leaks under the house or under sinks
- Pool Equipment
- Circuit Breakers
- Sewer and drain lines
- Landscape drains
- Chimney and fireplace
- Leaking shower pans
- Present wood rot and wood destroying organisms (like termites)
- Systems recalled for safety hazard – (certain furnaces and electric circuit breaker systems)
Buyers will also focus on items that are considered a hazard by today’s home inspection standards, but were not an issue when you bought the home or when the home was built.
- Chimney and fireplace safety
- Earthquake bolting and retrofit
- Some older electrical systems like knob and tube wiring.
In almost every case the homeowner was unaware of any problems!
Eliminate The Surprise- Do a Pre-Sale Home Inspection
Pre-Sale home inspections are a great way to decrease the most stressful part of a Glendale CA home purchase. You eliminate much of the buyer’s negotiation power with a pre-sale home inspection and thorough disclosures.
The Homebuyer Attitude Before the Contract
The buyer is still trying to win the competition in today’s market and the home seller has the most leverage before the contract is signed.
The factual, documented information in a pre-sale home inspection is treated as neutral and factored into the overall decision of how to move forward. In some cases the buyer may even agree to a partial credit toward the repair; they may even waive the repair altogether.
The Homebuyer Attitude After the Contract
After the contract is signed, the adrenaline of winning disappears. The buyer feels like they have more leverage in the transaction and the same factual information is given more weight.
In fact, they often act emotionally and “punish” the seller as if they had been intentionally deceived. Fear kicks in with the thought, “what else did they hide?” and the cost of the repair balloons. The buyer is sure they’ll find more problems once they start the repair and they start thinking about the value of their time and inconvenience.
Control the Experience With a Pre-Sale Home Inspection
Our sellers have a better experience when they make detailed disclosures and pre-sale home inspection reports available to the buyer before they write an offer.
Creating More Problems
You might be afraid of doing a pre-sale home inspection. You are wondering if you are creating problems (and decreasing your profit) by telling potential buyers all of your home’s dirty secrets. As far as you are concerned, everything works just fine. Isn’t that enough?
While it is possible to sell a home in “as is” condition, it is extremely rare to sell a home in unknown condition. Your ignorance of a condition is no protection from a buyer asking for a remedy! The pre-sale home inspection cuts down on surprise discoveries for everyone.