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Pre-sale Home Inspections Offer Strong Advantages


hausdok
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Has anyone noticed a recent trend in pre-listing inspections?

Do you think that the type of market (buyers market or sellers market) affects calls for pre-listing inspections?

Does anyone do a different report for them? Now I don't mean an altogether different report but what I mean is the narrative tone different in anyway?

Chris, Oregon

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I don't know. It's a nice idea, but on a very fundamental level, I dislike them.

I've yet to encounter anyone that actually wanted a real inspection; most of them imagine they're homes to be in such fine condition, they're looking for me to provide them w/a document glowing w/accolades.

When I find stuff, there's most often a "discussion" of how or why what I found really doesn't matter, and why I don't really need to put it in the report.

If there isn't anything wrong w/their perfect house, they then wonder why they hired me in the first place, and there's the uncomforting silence that accompanies displaced expectations.

All in all, I find them to be a pain in the ass, and avoid them as much as I can.

Maybe it's a regional thing(?).....

Someday, when I sell my house, I'm going to fix it up, clean it out, and tell folks to hire the best home inspector they can find. When the report comes in, I'll deal w/the chips where they fall. If there's something substantive, maybe I'll deal, maybe I won't; it's business, and forecasting market conditions has never been my strong point.

But that's just me.....I'm kinda laissez faire, and figure folks should look out for their own interests.

And honestly, I might simply develop the place; the neighborhood's changed in the last 17 years, there's a few million dollar tear downs in the next block, so maybe I'll strap on the hammer holster again and see if I got any chops left.

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I do them occasionally,

I tell them that it's no different than a regular inspection, I charge the same, and I report it exactly the same. I warn them up-front that there will probably be things that I find that they won't like. I've never had an argument with a seller over what I've included in the report. Maybe it's the face. I look pissed off 99.9% of the time, so folks don't argue with me much.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Some people are beginning to find the downside to these inspections. I did a pile of them at regular price and loved to do them. The downside is disclosure. Once you provide a glaring report of the problems in their house the sellers are legally obligated to disclose same to the realtor or the buyer.

That said, if you have a million pre purchase inspections a year, the market for pre sale inspections is the same, minus new construction. Not a bad way to expand your business.

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Hi John,

Yeah, the buyer does have to disclose what you find, but that isn't necessarily bad. After all, there's no such thing as a perfect house and buyers know that.

The thing I found interesting about these was the way that the sellers are able to use them to take the wind out of a buyer's sails. Usually, the buyers come all ready to negotiate an offer with an inspection contingency and then go back to the table to renegotiate after the inspection. With these, the seller can put the report out along with the disclosure report, advertise the fact that the home has been inspected by a professional, and doesn't have to fix a thing - only disclose it. Here comes the buyer and says to himself, "Ha, I'm not going to trust that inspection report - I'm going to hire my own inspector and then I'm going to come back here and whittle that price down." Then he tries just that. Well, at that point, the seller can simply say, "Hey, I had the home inspected, declared all of those issues in the disclosure documents, and set my price accordingly; I'm not coming down a penny, unless you can show me where my inspector missed a significant issue." By then, the buyer has put down earnest money, invested money and time in finding his own inspector, and has gotten his report back. He's most of the way there and the choice the seller has given him is to either walk or accept the deal. He thought he was going to be able to negotiate when he made his offer but now he's no longer the one in the position of power.

If we've done a good inspection for the seller, the likelihood of the buyer suing us over some perceived error is greatly diminished, because the buyer will have hired his/her own inspector and because we have no fiduciary duty to the buyer. It's that second part; the part where it's human nature for the buyers to distrust the seller's inspection report and hire his/her own inspector that is the win-win for our profession, because it means a seller's house might be inspected several times before a buyer whose just too invested in the house accepts defeat and goes through with the purchase.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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