As you may know, it’s common to include a home inspection as a condition of an offer you make. It protects you from issues that you might not otherwise see during a viewing.
What do you do if the home inspector finds something wrong? The inspector might find a leak in the foundation, or windows that are old, drafty and need replacing.
Must you pass on a property that you otherwise like?
Not necessarily. Just because the home inspector discovered a deficiency doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t purchase the home. You should, however, bring the issue up with the seller.
Your REALTOR® will do that on your behalf, and look after your interests.
In many circumstances, your REALTOR® will be able to negotiate an agreement that is satisfactory to everyone involved. This will usually be in the form of a reduction in the sale price to cover some or all of the costs of the repair, or a requirement to have the seller get the repairs done before you move in.
So don’t worry if the inspector finds something wrong. Chances are you can still get the home and have any issues dealt with to your satisfaction.
Let’s face it. When you visit a home during a scheduled viewing or open house, you’re usually seeing it at its best. The rooms are tidy. The sinks are clean. The closets are organized and uncluttered. Even the lighting is set to its brightest.
That’s just good old-fashioned marketing.
However, not every house you see will actually look this way. For any number of reasons, a house on the market may be less than tidy, poorly decorated, and even in need of minor repairs. You may open the front door in anticipation, only to be immediately turned off by stains on the carpets, faded paint on the walls, cluttered hallways, and more.
First impressions form quickly. It’s easy to make quick judgments and move on. But, you may be passing on what could be a dream home.
Don’t make that mistake. Make your purchase decision based on a carefully considered second impression, not just your first.
When viewing a house, imagine how it will look with a fresh coat of paint, some redecorating, the minor repairs completed, and your furniture adorning the rooms. You might just find that a home that doesn’t show well is really a diamond in the rough.
(One caveat: Be careful of houses that don’t look like they’ve been well maintained. There could be issues lurking that require expensive repairs or renovations. Always make a professional home inspection a condition of your offer.)
There are advantages to buying a home that doesn’t show well. They attract less interest and, therefore, less competition from other potential buyers. The listing price may be lower too.
You shop for a home. You find one you like. You make an offer — conditional on a satisfactory home inspection.
Okay so far.
Then the inspector discovers a problem with the home that may require an expensive repair or renovation. Perhaps the frame in the front door is cracked; or there's a leak in the roof; or the furnace is due to be replaced.
What do you do?
You don't want to pass up an opportunity to purchase what could be your dream home. On the other hand, you don't want to have to deal with potentially costly repairs.
First, keep in mind that you did the right thing.
It's always a good idea to get a home inspected by a professional before the offer is finalized. A qualified home inspector will go over the property with a fine tooth comb, top to bottom, inside and out, inspecting the structure, electrical systems, HVAC systems and more.
It's their job to find any deficiencies in the home and alert you to them.
If a deficiency is found, your next best step is to discuss the issue with your REALTOR®, and go over your options. Those options may include amending the offer price to cover some or all of the costs of the repair, or requiring the seller to get the repair done before you move in.
Don't worry. This is a normal part of the negotiation process. Chances are, an agreement can be reached that is satisfactory to both parties — and gets you the house you want!
And, because you had a home inspection done, you'll know the true condition of your home when you buy it. That's peace of mind.
When preparing a property for sale, homeowners often focus on the things that will impress buyers, such as clean and uncluttered spaces, well lit rooms, staged furniture designed to maximize appeal, and so forth.
But it’s equally important to pay attention to those things you don’t want buyers to see... those little turn-offs that, although seemingly minor, can distract buyers and cause them to lose interest in your property.
For example, you don’t want buyers to see these things:
Pets. Although many people love pets, some don’t. Others are allergic to them. Dogs, in particular, can take a keen interest in new visitors, jumping and barking excitedly. It’s best to take pets for a walk during viewings.
Unfinished repairs. Dripping taps. Gouges and marks on walls. Broken tiles. Squeaking gates. Home buyers will notice, and may mistakenly think there are other deficiencies lurking in your home. Do as many repairs as you can. Then be upfront about those that are in progress.
Clutter. It’s common for main rooms, like livingrooms and kitchens, to be clean and uncluttered during a viewing. But buyers who become interested in your property will take a closer look, and check out the garage, cupboards, backyard shed and other places where things tend to accumulate. The more you de-clutter, the better your property will show.
Smells. Obviously not something a buyer will see, but he or she will definitely notice lingering odours associated with pets, garbage, exotic cooking, and smoking. Scents have a strong influence on emotions. That’s why perfume companies do so well! So make sure your home is as scent-free as possible.
You. Nothing personal. When buyers view your home, they want to visualize themselves living there, not you. So let your REALTOR® be the host. Remove as many personal items, such as family pictures and trophies, as possible.
That is definitely not the reaction you want a potential buyer to have when they view your house.
The problem with common household scents – from family pets, preferred cooking styles, smoking, or even hobbies such as model-making – is that we get accustomed to them. However, someone who enters the house for the first time will notice these aromas right away.
So, before a viewing appointment or open house, be sure household scents are under control. A good airing usually does the trick.
Your home probably has dozens of great features that are going to help it stand out and sell faster. Perhaps it has a cozy sunken living room? Or an equipped and smartly decorated kitchen that Rachel Ray would envy? Or a location in a desirable neighbourhood?
All these things will help.
But there’s another selling feature you should consider adding: a pre-sale inspection.
A professional home inspection is usually done on behalf of the buyer before the deal to purchase a property is finalized. In fact, you can expect any offers to purchase your home to be “conditional upon satisfactory home inspection.” However, there are two good reasons why you, as the seller, should get the home inspection done:
A professional inspection can identify problems that might otherwise thwart the sale.
Say, for example, you get a great offer but the buyer’s home inspector discovers a minor leak in the foundation. That might be enough to jeopardize the deal. However, if you had a professional inspection done, you would have had the opportunity to get that problem fixed in advance of the offer.
Informing potential buyers that a professional inspection has been done is a great selling feature. It demonstrates to buyers that there are no hidden problems with the property, which gives them more confidence to make an offer.
A certificate of home inspection can be as enticing a feature to home buyers as a wrap-around deck!
Need more ideas for selling your home faster and for a better price?