Beat The Market -- Eliminate the "Guesstimates" & Get a Pre-Inspection

Real Estate Broker/Owner with DFW Living TREC# 0553912


Clear the clutter, clean the house and paint the walls.  Check.

Water the lawn, pack a few boxes and update the fixtures.  Check.


I recommend that seller's hire a professional inspector to check all major systems of their house prior to going on the market so that when they receive a contract from a buyer to purchase, they stand a stronger chance of making it to closing and walking away with as much equity as possible. 


In Texas, when a buyer offers to purchase a home, the offer includes an Option Period as well as an Option Fee.  The Option period is a negotiated period of time for a buyer to back out of the purchase for any reason or no reason at all.  The Option fee is a negotiated amount of money that a buyer pays directly to the seller for the unrestricted right to back out of the deal.  During the Option Period, various inspections are performed including a general inspection where a profesional inspector is hired to find out if anything is wrong or is about to go wrong with the house. 

After the inspection is complete, a report is generated that provides a buyer with extensive details on every system in the house.  The buyer uses the inspection report to help determine if they will move forward with purchasing the home or not.  Sometimes, a buyer is satisfied with the inspector's findings and moves forward with no additional negotations.  More often, one of the following takes place:

  • The buyer requests that the seller have certain repairs performed to their satisfaction by licensed contractors and completed prior to closing.
  • The buyer asks for a price reduction or credit at closing to pay for repairs themselves after they own the house.
  • The buyer terminates the contract and walks away.


It's hard to blame the buyer for wanting to handle the repair themselves and make absolutely certain that the work is done correctly. Asking for the credit makes sense and I recommend to buyer's to have the repairs taken care of themselves when possible. 


I've seen the most commonly requested electrical repair range from a request of $25 to $900 in the last year.  I've seen a slow draining tub repair request come in at $200 when Liquid Plumber will do.  I've seen repair credit requests for "non-operating windows" on windows that weren't meant to operate.  When I've asked where the numbers came from, I've been told that they are good guesses.


Why not get the house inspected before it goes on the market by an experienced, licensed inspector?When our sellers follow our advice and have the pre-inspection performed, they know what to expect and they know how much the expectation is worth in terms of dollars and cents. They gather bids for any recommended repairs, hire licensed trades to fix as much as possible and then they price it right based on its current condition. In the end, the sellers who pre-inspect save time, money and hassle and maintain better control of the repair negotiation versus the seller who skips this important step. 


Is your home covered under a residential service contract or home warranty? Be sure to check your appliance and contractor warranties before you hire the repair man and write checks! 

Remember:  In this market, buyers often don't mind a few repairs if they can get the right house within their price range.  Attach the inspection report, along with a brief explanation of what has been fixed & the remaining repair estimates to the Seller's Disclosure notice and eliminate surprises on your way to the closing table.  Hall Team Homes listing agents know how to present the information to home buyers and their agents in such a way that creates a no nonsense approach to selling your home.


***Questions?  Comments?  Looking for more advice about selling a home in Arlington, Fort Worth, Grapevine, Colleyville or Southlake?  Contact Amanda Hall, Realtor, Broker/Owner of Hall Team Homes today.  Our clients know the difference.

Comments (10)

Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Amanda, this is excellent advice on getting the inspection done on the Seller side first to speed things up and avoid problems during the Option period of a contract.

Jan 17, 2009 03:59 AM
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Amanda - I couldn't agree more.  That's a pro-active way to ensure as few problems arise with the condition of the property as possible.  When it comes time that I sell my humble abode, I'm going to get an Inspection & Appraisal done first.  It will save everyone time and money in the long run.

Jan 17, 2009 05:37 AM
Amanda Evans
DFW Living - Fort Worth, TX
Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas

Thanks, Gary.  It not only helps the seller by avoiding surprises, but experience tells me that the buyers appreciate that the bids from licensed pros have already been gathered so that informed decisions can be made. 

It's a win-win for the pre-inspection to take place. 

Jan 17, 2009 05:40 AM
Amanda Evans
DFW Living - Fort Worth, TX
Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas

Hi Jason, pre-inspections and appraisals are a small investment to make when conducting such a large transaction whether you are the buyer or seller.  I think it's smart money! 

Jan 17, 2009 06:03 AM
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate

Of course, very inspection will yield different results, and the buyers will want their own hired monkey to swing from the chandeliers, but at least you'll be aware of the big stuff and can plan/budget accordingly.  Good work here.

Jan 17, 2009 07:18 AM
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Amanda... I see this all the time.  You are giving excellent advice here... well done!  And BTW, congrats on reaching 100K points!

Jan 17, 2009 08:33 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker


Great advice.  Repairs need to be discussed early in the listing process.  Take care of reparis they will not just go away.

Jan 18, 2009 10:11 PM
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Nice Work Amanda - really. :)

Feb 04, 2009 03:48 PM
Cameron Wilson
Labrum Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee Californ

Very good advice Amanda. When a buyer wants to do the repair themselves their guesstimate to actual cost is usually on the high side.

Feb 14, 2009 08:43 AM
Lara O'Keefe
North Texas Home Finders - McKinney, TX

Amanda, this is excellent advice for sellers! Our Realtor suggested this when we sold our house and the whole process went so much smoother as a result of it!

Mar 12, 2009 05:13 AM