Seller Pre-Inspection of their Home
You finally found a buyer for your Austin area home, accepted an offer, opened up escrow and you have the movers scheduled when disaster strikes. The buyer’s home inspection has revealed major defects and the buyer is threatening to walk if they can’t be resolved.
One way to avoid this situation is to consider a seller pre-inspection of your home. A seller pre-inspection simply means you have your home inspected before you market your property. The advantages of a pre-inspection:
- You can make all repairs prior to marketing.
- Price your home knowing no repairs will be needed.
- Avoid a potential second round of negotiations for repairing defects found in the buyers inspection.
- A pre-inspected home provides great additional marketing points.
- Shorten time needed to close by avoiding inspections and repairs while under contract.
- Avoid possible post sale disclosure issues.
One of the most significant benefits of having your home pre-inspected is having the upper hand in negotiations. Without a pre-inspection, your home will be listed at what you consider to be a fair price. Interested buyers will usually make offers which are generally lower than the list price. Most sellers expect to accept a price reasonably less than the list price. Here’s where problems can start. After an offer has been accepted on a home, the buyer will hire a home inspector. Research has shown that over 40% of all homes have at least one significant defect. When a defect is found, most buyers will want the seller to make repairs and/or try to renegotiate the sales price of the home down by asking for a repair credit.
By having a home pre-inspection report available for potential buyers, sellers now have several valuable options:
After a pre-inspection you can now price the home fully disclosing all of the homes issues. This saves renegotiating the sales price for repairing defects found in the buyers home inspection report.
Another option is the seller can make all or some of the repairs found in your pre-inspection report. If you don’t make all the repairs you can simply disclose the items still needing attention.
The legal implications of seller disclosure requirements often put sellers in a difficult position. If a condition is found after a home has sold and was not disclosed, sellers may be asked to “prove” they were unaware of the problem. How do you prove you were unaware?
Texas laws require sellers disclose the condition of the home being sold. Possible litigation is a less predictable source of pressure on a seller. Having your home pre-inspected provides you with the peace of mind that you have done all you could to disclose your home’s condition. It also helps avoid post sale problems after you’ve already moved on to your new home. One of your best sources for reputable home inspectors is through your listing agent/broker.
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