Learning Center Article

Article: Should Sellers Get a Home Inspection?

You are about list your home for sale and, of course, you are doing everything you can think of to get your home in superb shape. You are cleaning like a banshee, rearranging furniture like a professional home stager, and you have even found some original paint and are touching up the hallway walls. But, are there hidden problems that may keep you from getting top dollar for your home? Sometimes, there are.

Let me tell you a story!

I was involved in a home sale several years ago where getting a pre-sale home inspection could have saved my sellers $45,000! We had just listed this immaculate home in one of Nashville 's most exclusive neighborhoods and immediately received 2 full price offers. After a minor bidding war the sellers accepted an offer worth $25,000 more than the original listing price (a record for the neighborhood) and everyone was ecstatic! The buyers were excited to move into this sought after address and the sellers were pleased to get top dollar for their home...now for the rest of the story.

When the buyer's home inspector came to inspect the property, everything went well until he took a look at the crawl space located behind the finished basement. He found the area was not draining properly and there seemed to be a "substance" that could be mold on the ground. Well, when the potential buyers heard that the inspection yielded a suspicious substance, they immediately cancelled the contract.

Our sellers were crushed. Since the home was only 5 years old, we immediately called the home's custom builder to come over to inspect and fix the drainage issue. Less than 6 hours later he called me back and informed me that he had fixed the drainage issue and removed the suspicious substance. Naturally I asked him how he fixed the problem so quickly and what in the world the substance was; was there a mold problem?

He paused for a moment and replied, "I guess that when the home theatre guys came in to install the system they must have pushed the gravel aside and accidentally blocked the ground moisture drain pipe. All I had to do was dig out the area and allow the water to drain properly. And, oh yeah, the suspicious substance...that was part of a leftover sandwich or something and there was definitely mold, but it was only on the bread (and then he giggled)."

I could not believe my ears! I called my home inspector and got him to go over there to get a professional assessment and sure enough, no problems. The home was re-listed at the original asking price and sat for 3 weeks before the next offer came in at $20,000 less than asking price. By that time my sellers had relocated to a new state and needed to sell the home. They accepted the offer 'as is' and wrote off the loss to bad luck.

Now, I always recommend a pre-home sale inspection to all of my sellers. This inspection will definitively tell you if there may be hidden problems prior to receiving an offer. This inspection usually costs between $300 and $600 depending on the size of the home and is worth every single penny, if not thousands.

A home inspector's report will review the condition of the home's heating system, plumbing, electrical system and central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), as well as the roof, attic, visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement, crawl space, drainage, landscaping, and visible structure.

10 Ways to Prepare for a Home Inspection:

1

Clean out dirty gutters or debris from your roof.

2

Divert all water away from the house (for example, downspouts, sump pump discharge, condensation drain, etc.). Clean out basement entry drains.

1

Clean or replace HVAC filter.

1

Remove or grade mulch away from contact with siding (preferable 6-8 inches of clearance).

1

Paint all weathered exterior wood and caulk around trim, chimneys, windows and doors.

1

Make sure all windows and doors are in proper operating condition; replace cracked windows.

1

Replace burned out light bulbs.

1

Make sure plumbing fixtures (toilet, tub showers, sinks) are in proper working order (repair leaks).

1

Caulk all exterior wall penetrations.

1

Provide clear access to the attic, crawlspace, heat systems, garage and other areas that will need to be inspected.

About the Author: Cindy Jasper, Broker, ABR, CSP has been selling Nashville Real Estate for 12 years and is a multi-million dollar producer. She can be reached directly: 615-300-4695 or visit http://www.hummerhomes.com for more information.

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