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Ah Am Zee In-SPEC-tor!

Ah Am Zee In-SPEC-tor!

In residential real estate, the best day of a seller’s life is quickly followed by one of the worst. You work hard to negotiate an acceptable contract, only to be quickly followed up by…THE INSPECTION!.

The inspector is licensed by the state to go into a home and report on various conditions. Over the years, inspectors have been sued so many times that the inspection reports are filled with CYA (Cover Your A$$) details that may or may not directly relate to the ACTUAL home being inspected. Recently, I received an inspection report that was 138 PAGES LONG on a house that had relatively few problems. Of the 138 pages, there were 8 items that the buyer considered needed to be repaired. Thanks, inspector – for the 138 pages.

In my experience, inspection items are like the game "Who Spilled the Beans". You remember, kids take turns putting one bean into a bucket. Eventually the bucket fills up and the beans spill all over the place. Then all the kids point and make fun of the kid who spilled the beans. The kids laugh and laugh...(the kid that spilled the beans carefully notes who is laughing and begins to plot his or her revenge).
In the inspection, a few items are inspected...but when item...after item...after item...are piled one on top of the other, the buyer begins to question the overall upkeep of the home, and small issues begin to manifest into large issues. 

Here are some issues from a recent inspection for one of my listings, and what you can do as a seller, to avoid these pitfalls:

1. if you have a crawl space under your home, go down and clean it out (any debris, insulation, old pieces of wood) prior to the inspection. This is a boiler plate item in the inspection report. Every inspector has it in the canned report form they buy. It will read “seller should clear debris from the crawl space”.

2. Address areas of high soil. Another boiler plate item. High soil areas can be used as leverage by a buyer in a repair negotiation. It is quick and simple to have a landscaper move soil away from the foundation of the home.

3. Circle the perimeter of your home and remove any construction debris. Occasionally shingles will blow off of a roof, or other items are left around the house. They may be in an area you don’t regularly walk past. When the inspector sees this debris, the buyer will think the house is in worse condition than it actually is. Simply removing the debris will remove an item from the inspection.

4. Remove or explain rodent treatment. Most homes are proactive about putting out rodent traps. The traps do not mean there is current rodent activity, usually it means the sellers are proactive about preventing rodent activity. A quick statement on the seller’s disclosure about rodent prevention will eliminate this objection.

5. When you list your home, you should have your HVAC system serviced by a licensed HVAC technician, then provide the receipt, with specific information (age) of your system. If your system is a working system, this will eliminate any ambiguity that a buyer could use to ask you for a $6,000 adjustment x the number of units you have.

6. Every home has little leaks and drips under sinks in all bathrooms. It will be in your best interest to have your trusted plumber come and evaluate all the sinks, showers, and commodes in your home to make sure there are no leaks.

Addressing these 6 items will save a lot of headache during the inspection process. It will give you, as a seller, an unfair advantage as you will know what to expect where the buyer won’t.

At Kyle Rovinsky Real Estate Services, we provide each seller with a pre-inspection checklist. The checklist acts like a set of directions to give you an unfair advantage when selling your home.