Friday, June 29, 2012

Home Inspection Offers Peace of Mind to Buyer, Sales Tool to Sellers

By: John Adams, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The idea of having your home inspected before it goes on the market for sale is not new. But it is an idea which has gained momentum as buyers have become more and more picky. And today, anything a seller can do to make the buyer more comfortable is considered worthwhile.

Here’s how it works:

A Real Estate agent recommends that a seller pay for a comprehensive home inspection prior to placing the home on the market. There are two reasons for doing this.

1. Any negative findings revealed by this advance inspection will almost certainly be disclosed by the buyer’s inspection after a contract is signed.

By learning about potential problems now, the seller can either repair the problem now or, at the very least, get detailed estimates of repair costs so that buyers are not surprised at the problems they may face in the future.

2. The fact that the seller has already paid for a professional home inspection may give a prospective buyer a greater comfort level in going ahead and making an offer on the house.

Buyers like that idea that a seller is willing to admit that their house may not be perfect. It also implies that the seller is not trying to hide anything about the house.

But there is another benefit that a seller may experience by shelling out two or three hundred bucks to get a professional review of the home’s physical condition. By presenting the buyer with a copy of a recent inspection, the seller has gone a long way toward meeting his legal responsibility to disclose any known defects or conditions at the premises.

Lawyers tell me that an inspector’s discussion of a damp basement or a leaky roof serves the purpose of putting buyers on notice for those specific defects. Thus a future lawsuit seeking damages would likely be much more difficult for a buyer to win. The inspection preemptively defuses the issue.

My advice is for sellers to have your inspection photocopied, then handed out to each prospect who enters the front door. Your inspection won’t prevent the buyer from having their own inspection, but it may hold your deal together by preventing painful surprises after the contract is signed.

Article Source: John Adams is a broker and investor. He answers real estate questions on radio station WGKA (920 am) every Saturday at noon. For more real estate information or to make a comment, visit


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