Let me tell you about a terrific lesson learned from a recent listing I had in Falls Church City. This experience working with these sellers taught me a valuable lesson that I'd like to share with my fellow agents & prospective sellers.
Tip: Be pro-active & get a termite inspection completed before putting your home on the market (which only costs about $20 to $50). We could call this "How to Could have Dodged the Bullet!" Or "Live & Learn!"
Once we had a ratified contract on this beautiful town home in Falls Church, VA, the buyers scheduled the termite inspection (as expected), and the inspection report showed "evidence of termite activity." Not a big deal, right?
So the buyers requested that we schedule a more indepth inspection which resulted in the need for treatment ($500-$900), AND found that there was existing damage due to this activity. Now it could have been really bad, with serious structural damage and so forth, however, to our good fortune, the damage was not extensive. However, the buyers were EXTREMELY nervous & concerned about this situation. We scheduled repairs from a reputable, local construction company and assured the buyers that repairs had been made. They asked if they could come back to inspect the repairs, & bringing along with them a structural engineer (at their cost -- $350) to evaluate repairs made to the damaged beams. So in the spirit of cooperation, and keeping the end game & overall objective in mind -- which was to sell this house -- we allowed them to return. AS you might imagine, the engineer determined that the repairs made were not inadequate, not to code, and the buyers then pushed for us to hire someone they knew to made additional repairs. Now, the sellers have already paid $500 for repairs, so we had to assure them that we would get the company back who made the original repairs, and insist they do additional work and improve the repairs they made. All of this cost my clients (the sellers) additional time, money, not to mention stress. It also created a lot of work for me, the agent, scheduling work to be done to the property, requiring multiple trips to the home. And you can imagine what happened next -- the buyers insisted on returning with the structural engineer for another inspection prior to closing. Fortunately, the repairs passed his 2nd inspection, and everyone lived happily ever after.
So you can see how a pre-listing termite inspection is a brilliant, inexpensive, pro-active move, right? The worst case scenario that the sellers and their agent (me) feared was being this far into the transaction (2 weeks from closing) and having the buyers void the contract, forfeit their earnest money, and having to start over! Not to mention the law suit that could have ensued. Talk about stress, money & drama!
All of this said, before you list a property, consider completing a termite inspection before you have a ratified contract, so you don't have buyers concerned about the home's structural foundation. You can have it treated, if necessary, and get any needed repairs made in advance. (And, as you know, all of this work would have to be done anyway, so why get your buyers all worked up??)
I hope this story is helpful to you and makes you a smarter seller, or a more experiened, pro-active Agent.
Good luck! And call me with any questions -- any time -- i'm here to serve! 703.919.7761
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