Home inspection can be a deal killer
He rides in with a black hat a clip board and guns blazing or so it appears to home sellers. But to home buyers the home inspector is nothing short of angelic from the tip of his white hat to the bottom of his steel tip shoes.
Last week I spoke about getting your house ready for sale, mostly in general common sense and cosmetic ways. I also recommended to home sellers to make the investment in a pre-inspection that will reveal issues and give you the opportunity to remedy them. As stated, it's a great marketing tool and can frequently give potential buyers that warm fuzzy feeling about you and your home before they get down to the nitty-gritty of negotiating.
Practically every real estate transaction on single family homes has a home inspection contingency written into the contract, as well as a high percentage of condominium transactions. These inspections matter and should be taken seriously by sellers who can sometimes have an overinflated view of the condition of their homes.
Based on the results of inspections, buyers will get the full picture of exactly what they are purchasing and a better understand of the home's systems. They could require that a defect be repaired before proceeding, they could ask for a reduction in agreed upon selling price or a credit towards repair or they could opt to walk away if they perceive it's too much to take on. Inspections are also important to buyers for insurance purposes since lenders could ask for certifications on roofs or other important infrastructure systems that may be near the end of their life.
Among the biggest issues that are disclosed as a result of a home inspection are electrical defects. These are very common and include outdated wiring, inadequate electrical panel and circuit breakers for the needs of the house, missing ground fault circuit interrupters, which are a safety issue in bathrooms and kitchens or anyplace electricity is near water.
Florida homes' biggest enemy is mold and mildew. Not only is it an esthetic turn off, but it can also present a health issue. Problem areas must be identified and remediated and not with scented candles.
Inspectors also zone in on plumbing problems. They are looking for water pressure, leaks and clogs. Inspectors will almost always run all faucets, tubs, showers, dishwashers, washing machines and flush toilets simultaneously to check for pressure and flow. Be prepared for the heart attack this may cause you if you happen to be there during the inspection.
Naturally, air conditioning and heating systems are checked. The age of these systems and efficiency of them are very important to all buyers since replacement is one of the more expensive repairs or replacement jobs in a home.
Finally roofs must pass inspection before most buyers will go forward with a purchase. If a roof inspection fails, be prepared to pay for the cost to repair or replace to the buyer's satisfaction or so long buyer.
If you're the seller, the best way to prepare for the home inspection on your property is to be prepared, and if you're the buyer, it's good to remember there are no perfect houses. Black hat, white hat, wings or horns, the maligned home inspector almost never makes anyone happy.