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Pre listing home inspection

Old 05-31-2020, 10:42 AM
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Default Pre listing home inspection

Brother in Law recently passed and my wife became his Personal Representative (Executor) We (she) is about to put his house on market. Realtor recommended a pre-listing home inspection.
Any thoughts, pro or con?
Old 05-31-2020, 10:45 AM
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If you haven't lived there and know the house, I would think it would be helpful. The buyer may want to do their own, but it will help identify issues that might come up and screw up closing. I would rather know NOW, not later....
Old 05-31-2020, 10:52 AM
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can you sell homes as is?
Old 05-31-2020, 11:05 AM
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Be careful. What would you need to disclose to buyers if they found something? I would rather not know and sell as-is.
Old 05-31-2020, 11:28 AM
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I've got a few real estate transactions under my belt and have bang heads with home inspectors on numerous occasions. Over the last few years I've gravitated towards hiring the trades do a service call on a prospective property. Each guy spends about an hour in the house and they give me a written report of any issues. It seems to work out better than having a home inspector that can get us license off the internet. No disrespect to home inspectors.
Old 05-31-2020, 11:34 AM
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Why? If you ask me the only thing a pre inspection will do is cause problems.
Old 05-31-2020, 11:43 AM
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Waste of money
Old 05-31-2020, 11:50 AM
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My last flip, the realtor I listed with paid for an inspection.
It was helpful and gives some level of comfort to a prospective buyer.
Since you don't really know the condition of the home, have one done. The report may have you selling it as is.
Old 05-31-2020, 11:52 AM
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The buyer will almost certainly do their own home inspection. Having it gone through isn't a bad idea but you are legally supposed to disclose any known defects in many if not all states. I would would consider doing it through the trades or on the side so I could get ahead of any issues and keep the buyers home inspection as minimally damaging as possible.
Old 05-31-2020, 12:01 PM
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No. Then you have to disclose. Plausible deniability.
Old 05-31-2020, 12:07 PM
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I agree with all the "NO" posts. What you don't know you don't have to disclose. Leave it up to the buyer.
Old 05-31-2020, 12:11 PM
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If I were going to have an inspection it would be by a licensed engineer...the so called home inspectors that just came to my house for the buyers were a joke. They had obviously gone to "inspector school". It was a husband and wife team...they had tablets and took pictures and video of everything. Turned on a light...took a picture of it...you cannot imagine how long it took...opened every door and drawer and took photos...what a waste!
Old 05-31-2020, 12:13 PM
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Waste of money. Buyer will have inspection no matter what.
Old 05-31-2020, 12:31 PM
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Ok, guys, disclosing problems depends on what state you are in, so ask your realtor.
Just sold my home a few months ago and here in VA, it is a buyer's beware state. According to my agent, I didn't have to disclose a thing...however, I could not purposely hide a known problem. If I had a leaky roof, I don't have to disclose it, but I can't hide the evidence of said leaks just to get through the selling process.

If you have an experienced, savvy agent, listen to his-her advice. Yes, you can sell the house "as is" but be prepared to set the price accordingly. If you do a pre-inspection, there's a good possibility you can get more than the repairs you put into it.

If I were a buyer, looking at an "as is" house, it better be bargain priced for me to even consider it.
Old 05-31-2020, 07:49 PM
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Florida real estate broker here, 29 years experience, sell about 30 - 40 homes a year and teach real estate license law. So, here goes. In Florida, a seller MUST disclose known defects and items that materially affect value. However, since you and/or your wife will be the PR you technically may not know about the house intimately. Thus, you can complete a form, in place of the Seller's Property Condition Disclosure, that states you (as seller's rep) have never occupied the property and have no knowledge of defects. So, in your case, having a pre-listing inspection can result in you having to disclose any issues made known by the inspection.

On the flip side of the coin, depending on the price point and condition of the house, it's likely that a buyer will do an inspection prior to purchasing, during the due diligence/inspection period. If they then find issues and cancel the contract based on the inspection, this may result in your having to disclose the issues to the next potential buyer.

So, if you do not get a pre-listing inspection (I recommend you do NOT) and a buyer comes along and does an inspection I would suggest that you do not have the buyer provide you with a copy of the inspection results should they elect to cancel the transaction. If they do request that you make repairs, simply have them request a dollar amount for repairs as opposed to providing a line-item of requested repair items. This protects the PR and the estate. Something to keep in mind, legally, if your agent finds out about defects/damage they are also legally bound to disclose those items whether you want them to or not. In Florida you can neither hide nor omit disclosure of defects. I'm not far from you, I'm in Pinellas county. Feel free to reach out if you have other questions.
Old 05-31-2020, 08:41 PM
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Absolutely do it. If your inspector can find it, so will the buyer’s inspector. Then when the buyers find it, they’ll have leverage to come back and re-counter based on the new info. Why not have all that already, so that cant’t use that against you?

My realtor paid for it (same 5% commission structure) and was adamant about it. The piece of mind I had when the buyers inspected was terrific.
Old 06-01-2020, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by EMC Pursuit View Post
If you haven't lived there and know the house, I would think it would be helpful. The buyer may want to do their own, but it will help identify issues that might come up and screw up closing. I would rather know NOW, not later....

This unless you want to sell “as is” which more than likely means selling it way under market value.

But personally I think it is a good idea, no surprises right at closing time
Old 06-01-2020, 03:50 AM
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Selling as-is has become common place and -unlike in many past years - it has minimal impact on value. It also does not restrict a buyer from conditioning an offer on repairs being made, etc.and the seller always has the option to toss the offer. If it's a bank deal or FreddyMac type, they'll not consider any conditioning of an offer. It also doesn't prevent the buyer from contracting a home inspection. It only means that once the deal is closed, it is done - subject to the laws of the state.
Old 06-01-2020, 04:19 AM
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Read post #5. Home inspectors are more like interior decorators than auto mechanics, meaning that each one of them can have different opinions about what might need fixing. What the pre-listing inspection shows will probably not be the same as what the buyer's inspector shows, so fix what's obvious to you, clean it and list it. You haven't mentioned age of home, and that might be a consideration if plumbing and electrical are out of date.
Old 06-01-2020, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack Hexter View Post
Brother in Law recently passed and my wife became his Personal Representative (Executor) We (she) is about to put his house on market. Realtor recommended a pre-listing home inspection.
Any thoughts, pro or con?
The con would be that it may expose you to liability in disclosing issues that you were otherwise unaware of. YMMV on how you feel about that. Mike has good points above.

The pro would be that since you didn't live there, it may save you some significant sticker shock for repairs or other issues that had built up over time that are bound to come up at a buyer's inspection, and many of those issues will be easy to fix compared to a buyer's punchlist of what they might ask for..

Your realtor might be suggesting it if they think that you are being unrealistic about value or that sentiment is going to cloud the sale.

Since (I assume) you didn't live there, knowing the issues up front and making the go/no-go decision on repairs could help. As noted above, the quality of inspectors varies dramatically - in your particular case getting a 3rd party to give a "cursory inspection" might help establish value and fix obvious issues ahead of time, like water damage, electrical violations, etc.

I can tell you without looking that if it is anything like the older houses in S Florida - the baths needs GFI outlets, there's a light switch or outlet that doesn't work right somewhere, one of the sinks has a drip, there's evidence of termite damage in some spot, the AC is past its functional lifespan, and the roof shows signs of needing replacement. Oh and there's a trip hazard. That'll be $349.

Last edited by Flot; 06-01-2020 at 06:05 AM.

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