Inspections · Real Estate · Selling

Inspection Misconception

Inspections are a part of most residential real estate transactions, but because they are so common, their role is often taken for granted or misunderstood.  There are some important points you should think about before ordering an inspection on a home you’ve offered to purchase.

Remember that a home inspection is not a witch-hunt!  It’s not a tool for finding flaws to allow you to renegotiate your offer.  An inspection is an educational exercise that allows buyers and sellers to better understand the home’s condition.  An inspection can alleviate the buyer’s anxiety while also providing a basis for repair suggestions.

Don’t think that you won’t need an inspection for new construction!  Nobody wants any surprises when purchasing an older home, but imagine what could happen in a brand new one that hasn’t even been lived in yet!  If you’re considering the purchase of a home under construction, ask about “phase inspections,” which are completed at various stages in construction for your peace of mind.

Finally, don’t assume that inspections are exclusively the responsibility of the buyer.  Many sellers have benefited from pre-listing inspections that identify potential problems before the home is listed and the defects are discovered.  Both sides can use the inspection to make smart decisions and feel more confident about the transaction.  If you’re still uncertain, contact a local real estate professional with your questions.

Note: This article was originally published on this site on September 29, 2016. It has been updated reflect the current home market.

Buying · Inspections · Real Estate · Selling

Avoid the Red Tag

Have you ever noticed clothing sales that advertise “seconds” at greatly reduced prices? The “second” quality merchandise may exhibit flaws like uneven seams and pulled stitches, and capitalizes on the slightly lower quality in exchange for a lower price.

Much like those “markdowns,” a home being offered for sale with obvious flaws also invites a lower price. Homebuyers, like other savvy shoppers, quickly become aware of needed repairs, and then begin scrutinizing the home for other defects.

If you plan to sell your home and expect to receive a reasonable offer, be certain that all needed repairs are completed before the “For Sale” sign appears out front. If you don’t, expect to receive about $2 less for each $1 in needed repairs.

Protect your investment by asking an agent for advice. They will walk through your home as a buyer would, making notes of all attention. This could range from a cracked windowpane to carpet in need of replacement. No matter what the flaw may be, if it attracts attention, it also becomes a point on which the buyer may negotiate a lower sale price.

Your real estate agent can guide you further by providing marketing tips to make your home more attractive to buyers. Remember that by offering a “first quality” home, you may expect to receive the best price.

Note: This article was originally published on this site on April 21, 2016. It has been updated reflect the current home market.

Buying · Inspections · Real Estate · Selling

Don't Panic

Property inspections are common in most real estate transactions, and are recommended even in the hottest markets. The question becomes what do you do when the inspector’s report comes back with items listed in need of repair. Whether you’re the buyer or the seller, just keep a cool head and approach the repairs logically.

Focus on the major defects. Minor repairs are not the ultimate goal of the inspection. Major repairs should be handled as soon as possible, in order to avoid any delays in closing.

Once the buyers have secured quotes for repairs, they should present their requests to the sellers either for the repairs or for a reduction in the selling price. The sellers may also choose to solicit quotes, and if there is a significant difference, the two parties may negotiate.

Either party may complete the repairs, but sellers who are busy preparing to move may offer a credit to the buyers so the buyers may have the repairs completed later to their satisfaction. Once agreed to, the final terms of the arrangement should be put into writing, and then signed and dated by both parties.

Whoever accepts responsibility for the repairs should have paid receipts for all of the work done. Proper documentation of each step in this process will protect each party and help ensure a smooth and successful closing.

Note: This article was originally published on this site on March 17, 2016. It has been updated reflect the current home market.

Buying · Inspections · Real Estate

Inspection Protection

You’ve found the home of your dreams, and you’re preparing to make your offer. As you consider price and terms, be sure to include one of the most critical components of the offer – a home inspection contingency. The contract should clearly identify how any reported problems will be rectified.

By including a satisfactory inspection in the terms of the contract, you give yourself three valuable options if repairs are needed. You can either:
a.) Request that the sellers complete the repairs before closing
b.) Negotiate a price reduction if you expect to pay for the repairs yourself
c.) Withdraw your offer without penalty

That last option isn’t very appealing, especially if you really love the home. However, you must be prepared to walk away if the sellers are uncooperative or the numbers don’t add up.

While the selling market was so hot these last few years, many buyers would forgo the inspection, just so their offer looked better than others, or to get the home before prices increased again. These normal or cooler markets allow you to be more financially sensible and insist on the inspection.

If the inspection proves to be a deal breaker, don’t sweat it, because there will be other comparable homes for your consideration. Chances are, though, that repairs will be minor and the sellers will be happy to cooperate.

Inspections · Real Estate · Selling

Offer "Peace of Mind"

Do you want to add to the appeal of your home when selling? Aside from basic mechanical or cosmetic repairs your home may need before you list, there’s one other easy and inexpensive way to make buyers feel good about purchasing your home. It’s called a “home warranty,” and for years it’s been a popular marketing tool, especially for older homes.

We all understand that appliances and home systems like heating and air eventually wear out and break down with age. By offering a home warranty to buyers, they are actually receiving “peace of mind,” since the warranty will cover repairs to appliances and other systems for the first year of new ownership.

You also increase the likelihood of a better offer, since buyers won’t try to subtract the cost of expected repairs. They will know they are covered by the home warranty if anything should go wrong. To file a claim, the buyers call a single toll-free number to arrange repairs for any item covered in the policy. Home warranties are so practical that buyers often continue their coverage past the first year.

When selling your home, ask your agent about the different home warranties available, various coverage plans, and their cost. You’ll find that this minimal investment could pay off handsomely in a full price offer from confident buyers! Sound good?

Inspections · Real Estate · Selling

Launch an Offensive

Even in a buyer’s market, buyers can become demanding and fear they are paying too much. Buyer’s remorse is not uncommon. Sellers have to take steps to reassure buyers that they have made a sound decision.  Without spending a fortune, sellers can easily highlight several of their home’s features. First, beat buyers to the punch with a pre-listing home inspection.

By discovering and fixing problems before buyers ever see the home, you can impress them with a worry-free, move-in-now opportunity. Leave your repair receipts out during showings, so that buyers can see all the improvements you’ve made just for them!  Once the mechanical and structural features of your home have been addressed, move on to the aesthetic details.

First impressions count, so make sure your home is inviting from the curb. Spiff up landscaping, paint, entries, and windows.  Inside, pay attention to bath and kitchen details, because those rooms are often most important when buyers are making a decision.  Aside from deep cleaning, consider updating bath and kitchen features with new and contemporary drawer pulls, faucets, and even sinks.

Finally, get a jump on your moving by organizing your closets and ditching or packing all you possibly can. A good guideline is to reduce your closets to half-full, so that the buyers can easily picture the space for their own storage needs. A few “preemptive strikes” should be all you need to attract buyers and offers, so ask your agent for tips today!