A home seller asked this question ~ "Should I get a home inspection before I place my house on the market?"
Family members shared with this client a horror story where someone they knew put a home up for sale. Once a contract was on the table, the inspector found major issues. The repairs were several thousand dollars, and the sale fell through.
Naturally this story frightened my soon-to-be client, and she wondered if she should have the home inspection pre-listing, or wait until she has a buyer. She was concerned the inspector would find "surprises" that might kill her sale. What was she to do?
First, I assured her that we would address her concern. I explained the kind of issues the inspector would look for. I mentally ran down the list with the seller, top to bottom, from the roof, attic, air conditioning system, water heater, etc., and asked the age of each system, and had there been any problems.
Although the seller has lived in the house for 20 years, the roof was replaced several years ago. The a/c system is less than four years old. Had there been recent roof leaks? Are there leaky faucets, drain issues, etc?
ARE YOU AWARE OF ANY ISSUES WE HAVE NOT DISCUSSED?
In Mississippi, a detailed Property Condition Disclosure Statement is required by law to be completed by the seller of real estate when they are assisted by a duly licensed real estate agent. The seller must truthfully and accurately disclose any known defect in the property in writing, and a copy is to be provided to the prospective purchaser BEFORE the offer is submitted.
If the purchaser does not receive the prepared Property Condition Disclosure Statement (PCDS) in writing before making their offer, they can rescind the offer within three days of receipt of the PCDS.
If the seller has any home inspection reports, they must be delivered to the purchaser.
Obviously, if a seller obtains a written report prior to the sale, he/she should make all necessary repairs prior to placing the home on the market. Why find out what needs to be done if you aren't willing to make the repairs?
My advice to the seller? If you are concerned the inspector will find a problem, say a leaky roof, a broken window, or rotten wood that you KNOW about, fix it now. Do it before the house hits the market. If you cannot afford repairs before the sale, note the item in your PCDS and offer to repair prior to closing, or give an allowance so the buyer can make repairs after closing.
While I am not a home inspector, I've been advising clients for YEARS how to prepare their home for the market. I'll be glad to walk through your property and share my expertise as an added value to my services.
If it puts you at ease, by all means have the house inspected prior to listing. But my philosophy is put the house in tip-top shape, find your buyer, and let the buyer call the qualified, licensed home inspector of their choice.
For more information, I can be reached at 601-278-4513.
Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Written and Published by Pat Starnes REALTOR
Pat specializes in Residential and New Home Sales
Primary Service Area:
Brandon, Pearl, Ridgeland, Flowood and the Ross Barnett Reservoir area
Pat Starnes, Broker Associate
Front Gate Real Estate, 6700 Old Canton Rd., Suite C
Ridgeland, MS 39157
601-278-4513 - Cell
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Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the Brandon MS market? Call me!