Who wants surprises when selling your Home Sweet Home?
The greatest value in doing a pre-sale inspection is reducing surprises to the seller. Everyone finds it difficult to hear criticism of their “baby”, but sellers benefit from knowing how buyers (and their inspectors) will look at their home. A third party inspection gives you knowledge and insight about your home and its issues.
Knowledge is power.
When sellers know the issues their homes have in advance, they have the opportunity to respond. Sellers can choose to repair issues, or to set proper buyer expectations up front. The alternative is receiving a buyer’s bombshell inspection on the back end with a buyer who is also surprised and is now on guard about protecting themselves. Unexpected issues brought up in buyer’s inspections can have challenging repercussions for sellers.
New standards, old homes.
Understanding that new standards will applied to older houses is always a challenging situation for sellers. NC home inspectors have guidelines based on the NC Home Inspector Licensing Board Standards of Practice that they are asked to follow. Not following these standards puts the home inspector’s license in peril. The standards require basic consumer disclosure to the buyer; what is the condition of the home compared to current construction standards and are there functional or safety issues connected to those issues.
Older homes typically have some number of newer improvements. As a practical matter, it is basically impossible (and therefore not required by the NC Standards of Practice) to determine when improvements were done and the specific code requirements that applied to them at that time. Fair or not, the standard for all inspections is what is being done now.
Some sellers hope to use an inspection report as a marketing tool, but this depends more on the house and its issues than on the presentation of the issues identified. Reporting language used to describe issues is consistent and is purposefully clinical and non-inflammatory. The inspection report, prepared in accordance to the NC Standards of Practice, is not based on the seller’s interests but what a buyer needs to know about purchasing the home. Inspection reports identify the home’s issues, describes the issues, explains the implications of the issues, and directs the buyer to the methods and people needed to resolve the issues.
Smooth the way.
No two inspections will be the same because of differences between inspectors and their backgrounds, changing conditions in the home, even weather related issues. Having a Pre-Sale inspection completed does not mean that new or different issues won’t crop up in a buyer’s home inspection, but a Pre-Sale inspection should allow you to prepare your home for sale, reduce the surprises of the buyer’s home inspection, and smooth the way the successful sale of your home.