Hugh Cairns: Pre-sell inspections

December 26, 2014 7:27 pm

 

Knowing a home’s flaws up front can payoff.  If you have a deficiency, you can find out more about it, fix it and possibly have a higher asking price. (Photo: Hugh Cairns)

Hugh Cairns: Pre-sell inspections

It’s rare when home sellers have a before-the-sale (pre-sell home inspection), but I’d love to see more. I asked several home inspectors at our national convention in Ottawa last week how many pre-sell home inspections that they have done for homeowners in the past year and the answer was clear. Most inspectors indicated that they have done one or two.

Although pre-sell inspections are not a popular thing to do, they are a wise thing to do. The seller can fix identified items or they can simply disclose them to the buyer.  The seller has confidence in the integrity of their home and the offer price. In my books a pre-sell inspection sets the tone for a better sale.

Sometimes homeowners don’t want to know what’s wrong with their house, they just want a quick sale. Knowing a home’s flaws up front can payoff.  If you have a deficiency, you can find out more about it, fix it and possibly have a higher asking price.

Home inspections usually run between $400 and $500 dollars. For that, your professional home inspector will inspect a home’s structure, interior and exterior, roofing, electrical system, heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, insulation, ventilation and fireplaces. But, don’t stop there. Clients of mine recently added a pest inspection, furnace service and inspection, a pool inspection, a W.E.T.T inspection (fireplace) and an electrical inspection. They had a newer roof, windows and insulation, so they depend on on the reliable service lives of these items to speak for themselves.  Basically what they did was prove the integrity of their home and circumvented any future negotiations.

I’ve seen a recent trend in higher end home inspections to bring in system specific professionals to give expert opinions and costs for upgrading on big ticket items, like complicated roofs, or engineers to inspect houses on severe slopes. A professional home inspector is a generalist who looks at every single system and provides a detailed report. What home inspectors can’t do is offer repair or upgrade costs for work done by others. Recently, one of my clients made the purchase conditional on two separate home inspections and special engineers — mechanical, electrical and plumbing — to look closely at certain systems like the boiler and hot water systems. All of the specialists advised the buyer that the home was in fabulous shape. The buyer was happy to pay for those separate opinions instead of a surprise on the other end.

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