Pros & Cons of Pre-Sale Home Inspections

By Justin Wiebers, Owner/Inspector, In View Inspection LLC
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Having a home inspected before it goes on the market can save sellers a lot of money, reduce stress, and make a home more appealing to potential buyers, but there are some drawbacks.

First let’s consider some of the circumstances when it may be wise for sellers to have a home inspection performed:

  • New Construction – Builders who want to convey a greater sense of quality or accountability; especially in areas where building codes aren’t enforced
  • Rental Units – Landlords who haven’t occupied a home may not be familiar with the condition of the home
  • Homeowners who haven’t actively maintained the home – Owners may be unaware of potential problems.
  • Homes on the market a long time – A home inspection can provide objective insights for sellers to consider and provide new selling points for real estate agents to promote.

So, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of having a home inspected before the first offer comes in!

Pros

Eliminate Surprises and Reduce Stress

When issues come up in a pre-sale inspection, sellers have far more time to consider their options, make informed decisions, and proactively plan for repairs or price adjustments.

Save Money

If major issues are revealed, sellers have time to get referrals of qualified professionals and solicit multiple bids to do the work. This can result in significant financial savings over accepting the first available contractor when timelines are tight.

Price concessions or allowances to buyers for repairs often exceed actual repair costs. A pre-inspection allows sellers to control costs and preserve the equity they have in their home.

Every month a house remains on the market can cost a seller mortgage interest, taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, and other associated costs. If a house sells one month sooner because of a pre-inspection, the savings can easily exceed the home inspection fee.

Avoid Cancelled Contracts

When buyers fully understand the condition of the home, they can be more confident in submitting a contract or choose not to submit one at all. Eliminating time off the market due to a cancelled contract can save the homeowner and Realtor significant time and money.

Make the Home More Appealing

Providing a home inspection report can create a sense of openness and trust. It creates a positive impression that the sellers are proactive and trustworthy. This could put a house above the competition.

Buyers may also see the advantage of not having to schedule or pay for a home inspection. In addition to saving them money, it can also accelerate the closing time.

Increase the Seller’s Confidence in the Listing Agent

When a Realtor suggests a pre-inspection, it shows the agent is actively working to sell the home and save the seller time and money. A pre-inspection may also reveal or confirm issues that a Realtor can help the homeowner strategize how best to address so the home can sell more quickly.

Cons

Known issues must be disclosed. This may deter some potential buyers. But consider that when any buyer requests a home inspection these issues (and possibly additional issues) may still come to light and become negotiating items or result in a cancelled contract.

Some buyers simply won’t trust a seller’s home inspection. They may still request a home inspection conducted on their behalf. In this case, the time and cost savings to the buyer will no longer be a selling point.

 

I hope these considerations are useful as you prepare to sell your home. If you have any questions, please talk to your real estate agent and feel free to contact me.

 

Maximizing Your Home Inspection

By Justin Wiebers, Owner/Inspector, In View Inspection LLC
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Why a Home Inspection?

Once you have a contract to buy a home, scheduling a home inspection is an important next step.
A home inspector is a trained professional who conducts a visual inspection and provides a written report on the condition of the essential components that make up a house.
The home inspection helps you determine if further evaluations or other services need to be scheduled. A good home inspector can save you significant time and money by eliminating the need to schedule numerous specialists and by giving you leverage to negotiate for repairs or concessions. If your inspection indicates very few problems, you have peace of mind and confidence from knowing a trained professional has objectively evaluated the home!

What’s Included?

A home inspection is a visual, non-invasive assessment. Walls, flooring, ceilings, etc. cannot be removed. The following areas are included:
InView-CheckMarkGrounds: sidewalks and driveways, grading and water drainage, and how trees and shrubs might damage the home
InView-CheckMarkExterior: roof, siding, windows, trim, decks, patios, porches and doors
InView-CheckMarkStructural components: foundations, framing, joists, beams, columns, roof structures, decking, and insulation
InView-CheckMarkPlumbing: water supply lines, drainage, water heaters, and all fixtures
InView-CheckMarkHeating ventilation and air conditioning systems are checked for normal operation.
InView-CheckMarkElectrical systems: service drop, main panel, lights and receptacles
InView-CheckMarkLiving spaces: kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms, bedrooms, and others will be evaluated for safety and proper operation of fixtures/systems.

A comprehensive list of inspection items can be seen on a sample report or on the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors Standards of Practice.

Making the Most of Your Inspection

If you have specific concerns or questions about a house you’re purchasing, talk with your inspector ahead of time. A good inspector will listen to your concerns and take the time to discuss their findings so you have the information you need to make confident, knowledgeable decisions when buying a home.
Depending on your personal interests and availability, you may choose to be on-site for the entire inspection (often 2-3 hours). Otherwise, it is recommended to let the inspector focus on evaluating the property before you arrive to discuss the findings. You also have the option of not attending the inspection and simply reviewing the inspector’s final report. Again, a good inspector should be willing to accommodate your preferences and talk with you about their findings during or after the inspection.

Next Steps

Following the inspection, you will receive a comprehensive written and illustrated report. After reviewing this report with your real estate agent and discussing any questions with your inspector, you can use the findings to determine the need for any additional inspections, get estimates from contractors, negotiate with sellers, and/or to budget for maintenance and/or improvements.
If you have questions about the inspection process, please talk with your real estate agent or contact us at In View Inspection. We’re looking forward to helping you get into your new home!

About Radon Testing

us-radon-zones

Radon is a radioactive gas released by the breakdown of naturally occurring Uranium in the soil. Levels can vary from home to home depending on the soil composition, construction methods, and even the weather. In the homes I’ve inspected, levels have ranged from 0.4 to 22.4 picocuries per Liter (pCi/L). The EPA recommends remediation at 4.0 pCi/L and above. According to the Kansas Radon Program, 41% of  homes in Kansas test at or above 4.0 pCi/L. Remediation in our area usually involves installation of a 3″ PVC pipe into the concrete floor with a fan that pulls out radon and vents it outdoors. Remediation costs generally range from $750 to $1,500.

Home buyers should have a radon test done as part of their home purchasing contract. In View charges $75 for a radon test if it’s performed in conjuction with a whole home inspection. ($100 for a radon test only) If levels come back above 4.0 pCi/L, negotiations usually end up with sellers paying for remediation.

In View Inspection utilizes the fastest most professional electronic continuous radon monitoring system available. Radon readings are taken every hour along with temperature, barometric pressure, and several other tamper detection sensors. Readings are collected by smartphone and sent to a lab for professional analysis and a detailed PDF report is automatically delivered by e-mail to our clients and/or their Realtor within an hour after the conclusion of the 48 hour test period.

So even if you’re not personally worried about radon levels, it makes sense to have a remediation system installed as you build or before you purchase a home (if radon levels are high) because anyone buying the home from you, will likely require it if levels measure too high.

You can read more about radon from the EPA at:
https://www.epa.gov/…/…/files/2015-05/documents/hmbuygud.pdf

7 Tips to Prepare Your House for a Home Inspection

By Justin Wiebers, Owner/Inspector, In View Inspection LLC
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The purpose of a home inspection is to help buyers better understand the condition of a home they plan to purchase. To help you as a seller, In View Inspection offers these tips to let you know what to expect and how to prepare your home. Use this list as a starting point to organize your efforts in the weeks and days leading up to an inspection to ensure the process goes smoothly.

plumber

Repair Any Known Issues Before the Inspection

  • Plumbing, electrical, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC), water damage, and other repairs can be expensive and can hold up the sale of your home. Scheduling repairs before the inspection gives you more time to get bids and referrals of qualified professionals which can save you money and reduce stress.
  • Fix small issues such as slow drains, broken door knobs or gate latches, have a clean furnace filter, clean out rain gutters, replace burned out light bulbs (a burned out bulb in a single-bulb fixture could be reported as “Not Working”). Little things add up and tell buyers about your home maintenance efforts.  Buyers often over estimate the cost of minor repairs.  Taking care of things early gives them a good impression and can save you money.

Father Organising Two Teenagers Clearing Garage For Yard SaleClear Out Spaces the Inspector will need to Access

  • Main electrical panel/sub-panels will have the covers removed to inspect wiring. These large, gray metal panels are sometimes hidden behind boxes or shelves in the garage, basement, or other utility rooms.
  • Attic access panel – Often in the garage or a bedroom closet. The inspector will need space to set a ladder underneath.
  • Crawl space access panel – often in the floor of a closet
  • Water heater
  • Furnace and air conditioning units
  • Cabinets under sinks – Don’t have to be empty but should be organized so pipes are visible.
  • Bathrooms, bedrooms & laundry areas – Again, don’t have to be cleared; just accessible.
  • Empty the dishwasher, oven, microwave, garbage disposal, and any other appliances that are staying with the home. An inspector will test these appliances. Refrigerators and freezers do not need to be emptied to assure they work.

Natural Gas PipesMake Sure Utilities are Turned On

Make sure water, electricity, and gas are turned on so all the systems that use these utilities can be tested. If something can’t be tested, the buyer may assume it doesn’t work and may work to negotiate concessions. This is usually only a consideration if the house is unoccupied.

Blue padlock on rough, dirty iron door.Remove or Unlock Padlocks

Make sure all gates, access panels, and doors are unlocked that may restrict access to areas of the home that should be inspected. Having an area “hidden” from inspection can be a red flag for buyers.

Group of pets sitting in front of white backgroundSecure Your Pets

No one wants your pets to escape, get hurt, or interfere with the inspection. Sometimes animals will act very differently if a stranger is in the house.

businessman clicks on the icon lodge. Opens Castle. The virtual screenTurn Off Security Systems

Unnecessary responses from the police department waste their time and can start an inspection on a negative note.

RelaxEnjoy Some Time Out of the House and Relax!

It may be tempting to stay around to explain issues or quiz the inspector about findings, but the inspector is working for the buyer and is obligated to report only to them. You’ve worked hard at getting your house ready, now take a few hours to get a relaxing drink, read a book, go for a walk, or do some shopping.

 

After the inspection, the inspector will deliver a written report to the buyers. They will review the report with their Realtor and may schedule additional inspections by roofers, structural engineers, pest inspectors, radon tests, or other specialists.

I hope you find these tips helpful as you prepare for the inspection of your home. If you have any questions, please talk to your real estate agent or feel free to contact us at In View Inspection.