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In MovieLand, if a movie is good, a sequel is better - and a third is ALWAYS better. Oh sure. So, with that same fallible logic, I present the third installment of my mini-series on Home Inspections as perceived by me. Third time's a-charmin'.
Should the Seller be there during the inspection, especially if the listing agent is NOT?
Should the Buyer attend the inspection with the Inspector? Some issues come up: such as liability, risk, collusion, safety, insurance, bonding... My Buyer was in the attic, on the roof, etc?!?!
Do you think the inspection - which is an option written into all Wisconsin OTP contracts - should be ordered by the Lender rather than the Buyer?
Any tips for Homeowners as they ready to sell, such as a "pre-emptive" inspection to ready the home? Are there areas where they can make things easier on themselves?
Now here's how her answers:
Yes, the Seller SHOULD be present, if only to answer questions of the Inspector. Kimberly said that she actually watches the Seller a little, if she sees him distracted or uneasy in certain areas, she takes special interest in that area. (MY CONCLUSION: Homeowner - Put on a Poker Face or stay clear.)
The Buyer SHOULD attend the Home Inspection so explanations can be given. As to the Buyer crawling in the attic or climbing onto the roof, it is INCORRECT to assume the Inspector's insurance will cover any incidents, destruction, or accidents. Not all inspectors HAVE insurance or are bonded. (MY CONCLUSION: Homeowner - Allow the Buyer to access only the normally inhabited areas of your property. Let the Inspector play SpiderMan alone. I suggest an agreement and a waiver prior to any access.)
Have Lenders mandate inspections? Tough question. If the lender requires it, it becomes part of the lending package. And, as the language of the Inspection Report is in fluent CYA-ese, it's unlikely any loans would EVER be approved. (MY CONCLUSION: Homeowner - The system stinks, it has evolved from safety to include perfection and cosmetics. But keep the lender out of it.)
Kimberly St. Louis believes that if a Seller is serious about selling, then get a Pre-Emptive home inspection yourself. Then correct what's there and update the Condition Report. Then if the Buyer wants to perform an inspection, he can. It is also FAR CHEAPER for the Seller to make repairs and corrections - even with a contractor - than to cave in on price. Far cheaper. (MY CONCLUSION: Don't leave the Inspection to chance. Control it. The money you net out will be greater that way. Get YOUR inspection first.)
So there you have it, from the inspection pro.
I would add this, before allowing ANY inspector access to your property, INSIST - in writing - that they belicensed, certified, insured and bonded - and provide PROOF of same. Protect yourself.
And I would suggest that you have the Buyer agree - in writing - to remain in the home's living areas. Perhaps go so far as to require a waiver of liability, should that not work or the you will not be present during the inspection. Should your perspective Buyer slide off your roof and face-plant on your driveway, this may not seem so extreme. And if he falls through your ceiling while dancing in your attic, the question of repairs will be answered. Suppose he inhales some toxic mold and croaks - thinks the family might find a slick attorney? Or if it's 4 years down the road, and the ailment can be traced to exposure in your crawlspace - are you safe?
If we as Sellers have to put up with this garbage (because it can become a nit-picky money-grabbing contest quite easily), make sure the liability is squarely on someone else's shoulders. You wouldn't let your neighbor walk around on your roof - why a stranger?
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.