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Why a Home Inspection Matters for Buyers and Sellers

Buying or selling a house is an expensive procedure during which time is of the essence. Some buyers and sellers skip the home inspection process to save time and money. However, doing so as a buyer or seller puts you at risk of spending more time to close and more money in the long run. Although a home inspection is not mandatory, it is recommended you hire a reputable home inspector before putting your house on the market, or as soon as your offer is accepted.

Preemptive action and learning as much as possible about the condition of the property protects you as a buyer or seller, and gives you the needed information to determine an appropriate value. Below is your guide to the benefits of an early home inspection.

Due Diligence Provides an Advantage

The principle of caveat emptor governs the sale of any real property: it is the buyer’s responsibility to ensure that the house he or she is purchasing is free of defects, as the seller will not be held responsible for any repairs after closing. However, the seller is legally obligated to disclose any health and safety issues on the property, including the presence of lead paint or pest, any drainage issues, etc. A home or pre-listing inspection helps buyers and sellers fulfill their duties.

Home inspectors identify safety matters rather than cosmetic issues. They focus on water damage, structural defects, and the condition of the visible features of the property (roof, windows, doors, etc.) as well as the house’s operating systems such as HVAC, electrical, and plumbing. They also observe any signs of pest infestation; however, home inspectors do not cover areas that are inaccessible—septic tanks, wells, the inside of the walls, etc. It is also worth noting that the length and cost of the home inspection depends on the size of the house, and the home inspector will provide a report afterward detailing his or her observations.

Although home buyers can waive the home inspection contingency⁠ (a clause that gives the buyer the right to have the home inspected within a specified period) in their offer, they may expose themselves to financial risk that could persist for as long as they own the house. Besides warning you of the repairs that are needed immediately, a home inspection allows you to plan ahead since you will have a clearer idea of the useful life left in crucial elements of the building. A home inspection report is also your last opportunity to renegotiate the price of the house if any unexpected repairs come up and to walk away from the transaction if needed.

Moreover, buyers are not the only ones who should invest in a home inspection. The weeks leading to a home inspection can be tenuous for both the buyers and the sellers, especially sellers who are in the process of purchasing another property themselves and are eager to move on with their lives.

One of the most effective business decisions sellers can make is the pre-listing inspection. Pre-listing inspections are an excellent marketing tool to target buyers who would like to close rapidly. Buyers are still likely to order their own home inspection, but a pre-inspected house gives them the confidence that it is unlikely that any significant issue will arise during the closing process.

Home Inspections May Determine the Sale Price of a Property

Knowledge is power. With a home inspection report in hand, both buyers and sellers are in a better position to renegotiate the terms of the contract if necessary.

If you are in the process of buying a house, an advance home inspection report that reveals any important issues can help you get a better deal on the property. In many cases, homeowners are willing to work with you on the price—within reasonable limits—to avoid putting the house back on the market. The specifics depend on the scope of the work to accomplish, on whether you are in a buyer or a seller market, etc. You can reach an agreement with the sellers by offering a lower price on the property, sharing the costs of the repairs with the sellers, asking for credit to be put towards the repairs, or demanding the completion of necessary repairs before the closing. If you have a home inspection contingency clause, you are free to walk away if you are not willing to accept the seller’s counter offer.

A pre-inspection is also a great negotiation instrument for the homeowners. Awareness of the potential complications before listing a property allows you to decide on a pricing strategy and whether you want to take care of the repairs before putting the house on the market, price it lower to sell it as-is, or offer potential buyers a credit towards the repairs. By providing your own report, you are also in a better position to counter offer if you find the requests of the potential buyer too demanding.

If an agreement is not reached with the buyer while the property is under contract, lengthy negotiations could cause you to miss the peak buying season. Additionally, when a property goes back on the market, it raises red flags for the next buyers who may be wary of any issues revealed by previous buyers, resulting in fewer and lower offers.

Significant Problems Identified During a Home Inspection? Here is What to Do

When a deal falls through after a home inspection, property owners can be at a loss. Properties are penalized when they go back on the market after being under contract for an extended time, and many potential buyers will ask themselves what caused previous house hunters to drop their offer at the last minute. In a seasonal market like Massachusetts’, having your property sit could cause you to miss the prime selling season when houses typically sell faster and for a higher price.

Once major issues are identified, the homeowner may need to drastically drop the price of the building to sell it as-is and hope that a buyer is willing to accept the risk and challenge. This scenario excludes many buyers that are looking for a move-in ready property or need the house to be in good shape to obtain financing. The other option is to proceed with the repairs, which can be expensive and time-consuming.

If you want to sell your property quickly without spending more money in the process, it is worth investigating selling directly to an investor like BostonBD Seller Solutions. Contact us today to see how we can help you sell your house fast at no extra cost for you even after a hair-raising home inspection.

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