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Home Inspections Before Selling

In addition to their Articles dealing generally with the nature of their services, the real estate professionals will discuss different specific "Topics" of interest to buyers and sellers from time to time.  These articles are indexed in the Articles Library for your review.

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Author, Edward Robinson is vice president of Professional Engineering Inspections, Inc. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston and is a TREC licensed real estate inspector in the Houston area. You may contact Professional Engineering Inspections's at (713) 664-1264.

Pre Marketing Inspections:

The summer is just around the corner, which is normally accompanied by a plethora of people buying and selling homes who will no doubt have them inspected as a part of the transaction. Many times these inspections result in information which is unexpected or significant and must be dealt with before closing on a home can occur. With the short-term contracts and busy atmosphere of the summer marketing season, a red flag as a result of an inspection which requires repair of a significant item or further investigation to determine the scope of a potential problem can cause a seller to loose a sale and a potential purchaser to possibly loose a good deal.

One possible and realistic alternative to help reduce the potential for such a problem is for sellers to have their homes inspected prior to placing them on the market. In this way, a seller can determine what items might be included in a typical cursory home inspection, and this allows the seller to determine if any significant defects exist which might affect the salability of the house. Many times inspectors find problems such as evidence of structural damage or water penetration which cannot be properly evaluated during a cursory inspection. If known by a seller prior to listing the home for sale, any such concerns can be further investigated for proper repair or at least disclosed to a potential purchaser to reduce the potential for a delay during the sale process. This information also provides great insight during considerations regarding the market value of a home.

Pre marketing inspections can also be a plus for a potential purchaser of a home. As a purchaser of a home, it is always wise to request copies of old reports on a home being considered for purchase. If pre sale inspections are available and are sufficiently recent, they can provide good information as to the condition and performance of the building’s foundation, roof, structure, and mechanical equipment. Having this information available before the start of negotiations help the potential purchaser to properly assess whether the condition of the home is acceptable and what sort of offer is reasonable. This saves time and aggravation which might be caused by surprises during the purchaser’s inspections.

I recommend that pre marketing inspections not take the place of the purchasers having their own inspection performed. Consider just a few reasons:

    • The seller has a very different scope and purpose than a prospective purchaser.
    • The seller is trying to improve the condition of the house to make it most attractive for sale.
    • It is also a good idea to have areas of concern reviewed by a purchaser’s inspector even if repairs are made to determine the quality and adequacy of repairs.
    • No relationship exists between the purchaser and the inspector who performed the pre marketing inspection who could not be aware of the needs of all prospective purchasers.
    • The prospective purchaser should select an inspector who meets their needs with respect to the inspector’s qualifications and experience.
    • How current is the information provided by a seller? Foundation performance information and information regarding some mechanical equipment may change drastically in a short period of time.

A pre marketing inspection can be of value to both the buyer and seller of a property if represented and used properly. The information provides a significant deterrent to problems which could derail a contract due to unknown and unforeseen problems; however, even though this information can be useful to a purchaser, it should never be considered a substitute for a pre purchase inspection provided by a licensed home inspector or engineer.

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