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Home inspection

Pre-inspection - a sales tactic:

High home prices and escalating problems correlate to more buyer demands for an inspection. Subsequently, this is why more homeowners should consider having a pre-inspection before their home goes on the market.
Residential homes are experiencing an increase in maintenance related issues due to the fact that owners don’t have the time or even care to repair problems. Both spouses work and tend to let problems slide. 

Home ownership among singles and first time homeowners exploded during the early 2000s and their homes are suffering the same fate. 

Why repair problems in advance?

After all, the buyers’ inspector may miss some of them, saving you from having to deal with these issues. That’s true, but if the buyers’ inspection uncovers a laundry list of problems, this could send the buyers over the edge. 
If you’re out of touch with the maintenance status of your home, seriously consider a pre-inspection. It will give you peace of mind since you can address both major and nuisance problems prior to marketing your property. For expert advice on many areas in the home, go to these very informative sites: askthebuilder and inspectApedia.

Use a known inspector:

Anytime you’re doing a pre-inspection, a well-known (preferably a nationally known) inspection company will add credibility to this endeavor.

If your home reveals problem areas, negotiate with the inspector for a second inspection on only those items that were flagged. Let the inspector understand that you will address the problems and will want a second written inspection to show buyer prospects.

Find out who is good and who is bad:

When you invite in real estate agents for a free market analysis, ask them what inspection companies they recommend. Ask the agents who you should shy away from. They all know local inspectors that they avoid like the plague. They’re the original cover-your-rear folks who find something bad with just about every room and surface area.

When you get a contract and the buyers tell you they are going to use one of these super tough inspectors, politely request that they use a different company. Tell them you’ve heard so many negative things about  “that company” that you wouldn’t want them in your home.

Suggest some of the recommended inspectors. Consider using a list of reputable inspectors in your area by going to HomeInspectorLocator or The American Society of Home Inspectors.

Potential sales tool:

Leave a copy of this inspection report out for the prospective buyers to see, that is, if your home gets a relatively clean bill of health.

If the report contains a large list of items, including those you can tackle yourself, don’t show prospects the report. Even if the problems are resolved and repairs made, a lengthy list could make prospective buyers very anxious about your maintenance habits. Avoid a lengthy list of problems by reviewing your home and tackle obvious problems in advance of any inspection.

If a pre-inspection results in the need for professional repairs, be cautious in showing a copy of the repair invoice for work done. Documentation on replacing or cleaning a furnace is fine to show to prospects. Ixna on displaying repair and maintenance estimates.

People prefer a home that has been so well maintained that repairs were never needed. That’s a key reason for the popularity of new construction.

If you’re a handy person:

Buyers worry when there are an abundance of small items because it smacks of an uncared for home. They also are concerned about big-ticket items. If you’re fairly handy and can identify and handle the small stuff, skip a major inspection.

Instead, have a furnace and/or air conditioning inspection and possibly a roof inspection. It’s less expensive than a whole house inspection. Post a copy of it on the furnace or along side your sales brochure. Be sure it says “Inspected and Serviced.” It shows buyers that you’re on top of your game and may even convince them that they don’t need an inspection.

It may satisfy buyer fears:

Buyers usually want their own inspection, which they'll pay for, even if you had a pre-inspection. Don't discourage it. Pushing your inspector's findings doesn't play well with suspicious buyers and opens you up to potential liability if there are repair issues in the future.

First time buyers are often scraping together the down payment and may feel that they can save the cost of the inspection if it’s already been done. A pre-inspection could help here. For the mid range and higher priced homes, the buyers will want to do it again with their own chosen inspector. 

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