Sound Off: Why do I need to pay for an inspection report?
Published 6:01 pm, Friday, August 16, 2013
Q: Why do I need to pay for an inspection report?
A: In all the years I've been selling real estate, when advising sellers to get pre-sale inspection reports there is a common question that consistently comes up: Why should we do them - won't the buyer be doing inspections?"
Sellers worry that a report will show something that can potentially scare buyers away or make buyers offer less or even discourage a buyer from making an offer at all. They also worry they will end up with a long laundry list of expensive repairs their Realtor will expect them to do.
While these are all genuine concerns, they really are only concerns as the Armageddon report will most likely come from the buyer's inspector. Without pre-sale inspections, the seller will end up on the defense against their buyer.
Unlike buying a car, buyers don't have the luxury of test-driving a house. A lot of times they are making the decision to place an offer on a property having only been in it one or two times. The smarter the decision the buyer can make, the higher the likelihood the seller will have a problem-free deal.
Buying a house is stressful, and if a buyer finds a problem after the fact it tends to get magnified by that stress, creating a bigger problem than what may actually exist. For example, if a buyer's inspector says there's only a year or less of life on the roof, the buyers are likely to bring out the most expensive roofer in town to give them a price. You can call the roofer your neighbor used, but there are thousands of dollars difference in their prices. Which inspector do you think the buyers will believe? This could cost the seller thousands through a price reduction or forcethe buyers to give a credit off the purchase price.
Finally, as a seller you are selling what is probably the largest asset you own. Choosing not to do pre-inspections is like a race car driver not wearing a safety harness; they will probably make it to the finish, but if a wheel comes off its going to be a bad wreck.
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