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Inspect your property before you sell

Step 5 - Inspect your property before you sell

Property inspections are one of the biggest hurdles to selling real estate! Before marketing your property, you should always have your property pre-inspected by a professional inspector. Pre-inspecting your property will:

  • Help you close faster on your property without surprises.
  • Help you avoid inspection delays due to busy inspection schedules.
  • Give you a chance to review your report & make necessary repairs before marketing your property.
  • Help you identify and disclose problem areas before negotiating with buyers.
  • Reduce contract cancellations, contract delays and costly litigation.
  • Eliminate buyers from going through your property for a 3 or 4 hour inspection.

When hiring an inspector, choose a reputable inspection company that has been in business for at least 3 years. To determine the quality of the inspection service, ask the inspection company if they can email you a sample report. Ask the inspector if he or she is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). The inspection report you receive should be detailed and professional in appearance. View a sample Inspection Report.

After your property has been inspected, review the report for deficiencies. If your property has any pest, termite, mold, asbestos, radon, electrical, heating, plumbing, roofing, ventilation, drainage or structural problems, you must decide to:

  1. Repair the problems yourself in a professional manner.
  2. Obtain contractor estimates and hire a reputable contractor to complete the repairs.
  3. Disclose the report issues and provide the buyer with a credit at closing.
  4. Reduce your sales price to account for the cost of repairs.

After making repairs to your property, update your inspection report and indicate what repairs have been made. If the buyer finds your inspection report acceptable, insert the following language into your contract: Buyer has reviewed and approves all property inspections on record. By following this procedure you will eliminate the need for further repairs and price adjustments.

What should a seller test for? A complete inspection report includes a general home inspection, a pest or termite inspection, a radon, septic, well and water test. Testing may vary in certain areas of the country, so be sure to check with your local inspector.

Let’s recap the reasons why you should pre-inspect your property:

  • You don’t want the aggravation of a cancelled contract.
  • You don’t want to lose valuable marketing time.
  • You don’t want to receive last minute knowledge of costly repairs.
  • You don’t want to be involved in costly litigation.
  • You don’t want to delay a buyer’s mortgage commitment.
  • You don’t want a buyer over-examining your property for 3 to 4 hours.

Listed below are common reasons why properties fail inspections:

  • Structural problems
  • Water in basement or perimeter drainage problems
  • Code violations
  • Plumbing, heating and electrical issues
  • Roofing issues
  • Mold, termite and pest problems
  • Septic & well issues
  • Asbestos, radon, and environmental issues
  • Ventilation concerns
  • And the list goes on!

In conclusion, inspecting your property before you sell will help you sell with confidence! To locate a home inspector in your area, please refer to our Helpful Pros directory. You should also complete a Seller Property Condition Disclosure statement. Many states now require a similar form to be completed prior to negotiating with buyers. Check with your local attorney to obtain the correct form used in your state.

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