Selling A Home – Get A Home Seller Home Inspection

Selling a home in a strong buyers market like we have in 2008 requires a home seller to use every possible tool at their disposal to ensure that their home is the most competitive it can be. One tool often overlooked by home sellers is a home inspection.

Home Seller Home Inspection – A Very Good Idea
Typically, home buyers order home inspections, but if you, as the home seller, are aggressive about selling your home you could get your own home inspection before putting your home on the market.

This pre-sale home inspection isn’t for the home buyer; rather it is for you, the home seller, to ensure that there are no hidden defects with your home. A seller home inspection can also assist you and your real estate agent in establishing the true value of your home before listing it.

Deal Stopper Home Buyer Home Inspections Can Be Avoided
The contingency stage of any residential sales contract is always a time for home sellers to hold their breath. It is during this stage where a home buyer gets their home inspection. There could be a variety of problems disclosed during this inspection that could break a deal.
In most cases it is better to have any mechanical or structural issues addressed before putting the house on the market for sale. In a buyer’s mind, any issues may seem bigger than they actually are. So it is better to just take care of any maintenance items up front to help you eliminate any potential deal breakers for the Buyer.

What Does A Home Inspector Cover?
The home inspector performs a thorough physical inspection of your home. As they perform their inspection they take notes and at the end of the inspection turn their notes into a written report, or assessment of your home. You should get a copy of your home inspection within 24-48 hours of getting your home inspected.
The home inspector should inspect the following:

Exterior condition of home and foundation.

Central heating and air-conditioning systems.

Interior electrical systems.

Interior plumbing (such as leaking faucets, etc.)

Exterior plumbing.

Roof along with flashings and gutters and roof support structure; attic and any visible insulation.

Walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors (windows and doors that stick indicates a problem).

Foundation.

Built-in appliances.

Garage – determines if automatic garage door openers are operating properly and equipped with safety features to prevent accidents.

Garage – if the water heater is located in the garage the inspector will determine if it is insulated, elevated and not a fire hazard; or, if it needs to be replaced, etc.

Garage – inspects firewalls and determines door into house is fire rated.

Interior condition of home such as any cracks in sheetrock, etc.

Inspection of breaker panels to test the grounding and polarity of electrical outlets.

Verifies GFCI compliance at outlets near running water sources such as sinks.

Inspects fireplaces to ensure it will operate properly and is not a fire hazard.

Inspector also checks the smoke alarms

An inspector may also suggest additional services for providing inspections of wells, septic tanks, swimming pools and possibly radon testing.

Should I Hire A Home Inspector?
Sellers should never use a “contractor” as a home inspector. Sellers should always use a professional home inspector. Home inspections cost anywhere from $300-$500.
Many people assume that home inspectors are contractors who inspect homes instead of building them. This is far from the truth. Contractors are skilled in construction techniques, not the discovery of damage, deterioration or other building defects. If a Seller uses a contractor to inspect their home, any liability of undisclosed defects rests solely with the Seller.

There Is No Such Thing A Too Much Diligence
A home that looks good can have a lot of hidden damage or defects that you as the home owner might not be aware of. The time to find out about these defects is not during the contingency phase of a sales contract on your home. If this happens it could cost you thousands of dollars in last minute repairs in order to sell your home under the sales contract. It could also cost you the buyer as they might get cold feet and withdraw their contract.
It is better to address any mechanical or structural issues up front before you put your home up for sale. Do yourself a favor – get a home inspection to head off any deal breakers later. Good luck selling your home.