Discovering defects now can avoid a host of legal trouble
Tuesday, July 24, 2007 By Barry StoneInman News
I'm getting ready to sell my home and would like to hire a home inspector before I put it on the market. It seems that a pre-marketing inspection would give me a better idea of needed improvements before I sell. Is this wise or not? --
Your approach demonstrates a wisdom not commonly realized by sellers. Buyers typically hire the home inspector after the purchase contract has been signed. The inspector provides a list of defects, and then the buyers ask the sellers to make repairs, to reduce the price, or sometimes to cancel the sale. When you provide a home inspection report prior to signing the contract, you avert this process of renegotiation.
Essentially, there are three benefits for sellers who hire a home inspector prior to marketing a property:
1. The inspection report informs you, in advance, of any significant defects that might need attention and that could adversely affect your chances of selling the property. It affords you the opportunity to make repairs prior to sale.
2. The report enables you to provide a more thorough and complete disclosure of the property's condition. This lessens the likelihood of legal problems after the sale, when undisclosed defects might then be discovered.
3. The report provides the best basis for an as-is sale, if that is what you prefer. You can decline to make repairs while fully informing the buyers of the conditions that need repair.
Sellers would do themselves a great service by taking this proactive approach to the disclosure process.