A Good Case For A Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Real Estate Agent with Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate



A Good Case For A Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Home InspectionI had a whirlwind of an experience this past week and it could have all been avoided with a Pre-Listing Home Inspection. So the story goes like this: My terrific buyers have had a difficult time finding a house in the spring market in their preferred school district and price range. Inventory has been low (a great blog topic for another day). One day a very nice, reasonably priced home came on the market. We were the first in and my clients "fell" for the house. It was in excellent condition, updated and showed beautifully. We wrote a contract, struck a deal and all was good...until the home inspection.

I shared the names of 3 home inspectors that our clients rave about. The buyers chose one and we were on our way. The inspector did a thorough job. Mind you, there are inspectors out there that believe it's their duty to write a laundry list of items no matter what they find. However, this inspector is a straight shooter. The inspection took close to 5 hours which should have been my first clue. The issues that came up weren't the worst I have ever seen but they were very surprising given the condition of the house (A+) Typically, the problems that were observed would be associated with an "as is" or a tear down. No such luck for my buyers. The repairs came to $25,000-$35,000, we are talking real money.

The sellers were VERY surprised that their house had so many problems. They are retirement age and downsizing to a condo nearby. Unfortunately, they have quite a bit of work to do before they can relist. Yes, I forgot to mention that my buyers walked away from the deal. They weren't really up for months of work, worries and to wonder what else will come up. They thought they bought a renovated, turnkey home???

If theses sellers had taken the time and money to do a Pre-Listing Home Inspection, they would be counting down the days to settlement not knee deep in repairs.

What to look for before putting your house on the market:

1. Check the systems of the house: heating, cooling, electrical, plumbing.

2. Windows - do they open close properly?

3. Appliances - if one is on life support, replace it.

4. Roof - know the age and condition.

5. Take a look at the landscaping/grading and the impact on your house.

These are just a few steps you can take to ensure the sale of your home goes smoothly. You don't want to get caught off guard, do you?

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The Schuman Team at Washington Fine Properties

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Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

Betsy  I must admit I have not had much success convincing homeowners to have a pre-listing home inspection - I guess I need to try harder  :)

Jul 05, 2011 05:18 AM #1
Betsy Schuman Dodek
Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate - Potomac, MD

Karen, It is a challenge but it can mean a huge savings of money and time!!! I am going to be trying harder with our sellers as well!


Jul 05, 2011 05:24 AM #2
Nina Rogoff
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Medfield, MA
Sells Real Estate!

If not an actual home inspection then at least the sellers need to know the information you pointed out in your numbered list. If everything is old, the house needs to be priced accordingly. Hope you find something great for your buyers soon!

Jul 21, 2011 05:34 PM #3
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate


What in the world was wrong with it and cost $25,000 to $35,000??  Was it an older house?  I can't imagine what it could be.  Please share.

I've never had a listing where I strongly suggested a pre-inspection that the sellers didn't take my advice.

I usually only suggest when the house is over 15 years old.  It really can be a lifesaver and time saver for seller clients!

May 13, 2012 05:42 AM #4
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Betsy Schuman Dodek

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