Home Inspections Aren’t Just for Buyers

Fall is a great time to sell your home. It’s not just the scent of pumpkin lattes and fall colors – it’s the feeling of too much space in your home now that you’re an empty nester with the kids off to college or home or their own or….dare I say it?… your new ex-spouse’s belongings dumped on the front lawn waiting for him or her to come get them and get out of your life forever.

If you missed that due diligence with your ex (why can’t we get reports ahead of time to let us know their flaws and if they’re fixable at a reasonable cost before we make that long-term commitment?), there’s no reason to make that same mistake with the property you’re putting on the market, be it a home or a business property.

People expect the buyer to get a home inspection – and so they should – but I always recommend that my sellers get an inspection as well. It’s like an insurance policy against being blindsided by a problem that can turn your multi-million dollar property into a bargain basement fixer-upper in the blink of an eye.

With a timely home inspection, you’re able to make repairs that maintain the value of your property and attract buyers without a last-minute negotiation that forces you to pay extra for a surprise I-Need-It-Done-Yesterday job. And for those items, you choose not to repair? Buyers can factor those in when they make their offers. You may not be happy at any surprises your inspection report turns up, but your blood pressure will thank you.

Besides, who’s to say that your home inspection will turn up flaws? It can highlight assets as well. Things like your bright, shiny new wiring and the roof that is only a few years old. Either way, you’ll have a more realistic idea of what your home is worth. And some home improvements can affect your taxes when you sell in a good way. Want to know more? Click here for an article from TurboTax for more information.

Your pre-inspection is like putting out a brand new Welcome mat for potential buyers. It shows that you are being upfront and completely transparent about the property. I still encourage buyers to get their own inspection, since the quality of inspectors can vary widely – saving money on a home inspection can mean that the inspector is less thorough or has less experience.

Contact me to refer you to a QUALITY home inspection service. An inferior or partial home inspection is like seeing only the first half of a movie. You’re never quite sure how things will turn out. But while you can’t sue a director for a bad movie (The live-action Cat in the Hat film jumps immediately to mind), the buyer can hold you liable in the future if they find a major flaw with the home. And, of course, whenever you want to buy or sell a property – even one without your ex’s guitars and beret collection piled in the front yard – I’m here to help you.

I’m Stephen Burchard, The Desert Bowtie Realtor, taking the (k)nots out of real estate.