Buyers commonly insist on a home inspection. Most real estate agents strongly recommend them. It protects the buyer from ugly surprises in the form of problems they were unaware of at the time of sale. Of course, a home inspection could find a deal killer, a problem so egregious the buyer backs out entirely. Or perhaps it finds something requiring an expensive fix. Still, there are many reasons why sellers should not fear and should actually welcome a home inspection.
It Puts Buyer and Seller on Equal Footing
Licensed inspectors are impartial. Their job is to identify problem areas and suggest solutions. By having a detailed report lay out the issues, buyers and sellers negotiate from the same starting point. A buyer cannot insist a problem is bigger than it is, because the inspector has already analyzed its severity.
It Stipulates Acceptable Solutions
Having buyers and sellers debate the appropriate fix for a problem is frustrating. Buyers want things in like-new condition, while sellers want to invest as little as possible in repairs. Home inspections spell out what kind of repair or replacement is necessary, no more and no less.
It Protects You from Liability
If a problem is not found, but it causes injury or damage after the buyers move in, it is possible the seller will find themselves liable for it. Such problems will often be found by a home inspector and, thus, repaired long before move-in.
It Reassures the Buyer
The buyer is more likely to accept a high asking price if they know the home is without major flaws. Otherwise, they are left guessing as to how well the home has been maintained through the years.
Pre-inspection Provides Even More Leverage
While home inspections are generally requested (and paid for) by the buyer, the seller can purchase one in advance of negotiations. Costing a few hundred dollars, it is a drop in the bucket in the larger scheme of things.
A pre-inspection allows the seller to fix any problems before a buyer even walks through the door. There are not going to be any surprises, and the buyer is not going to be able to leverage flaws in order to get a lower price.
Home inspections can still be nerve-wracking events for sellers as a stranger spends a couple hours thoroughly investigating every crack and crevice. Some things to bear in mind:
- No home is perfect. Flaws will be found. This is completely normal.
- The list of flaws may be long. There is no reason to panic. Many issues can be fixed quickly, cheaply and with little effort.
- Do not be overwhelmed with technical terms. The home inspector wishes to be as specific as possible in their documentation. A confusing word does not necessarily mean it is something rare or costly. Ask for clarification.
It is easy to think of home inspections as putting the ball in the buyer's court. In fact, home inspections assist both buyer and seller in the negotiation process. In addition, they eliminate a lot of potentially dangerous situations which can cause damage or injury. Rather than resisting the inspection, which buyers generally insist upon, welcome them as an opportunity to help a home put its best foot forward.
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* This representation is based in whole or part on data supplied by, and to, the Subscribers of Alaska MLS. Alaska MLS does not guarantee nor is it in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by Alaska MLS is for its own use and may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. Report reflects sales through within 24 hours of the final report date.