Any smart buyer is going to want to have a professional home inspector perform a home inspection on any home they intend to purchase…
It is the job of the home inspector to find any defects in the property that may cause problems for the buyer in the near or distant future. It is inevitable that the inspector will find something, since that is what the buyer is paying him to do.
If you have had your home pre-inspected, as we discussed in Preparing Your House for Buyers, your home inspection may be smooth sailing; if you have not had your home pre-inspected, it is likely that the home inspection may turn up some surprises for you.
In addition to a general home inspection, the buyer may also choose to have other inspections during this time.
Most buyers will limit their inspections to a general home inspection, a termite inspection, and a radon inspection; however, the Due Diligence Period is the buyer’s time to perform as many inspections as he desires, and overly cautious buyers may tend toward more rather than fewer. Some of the options are a radon inspection, termite inspection, lead-based paint inspection, mold inspection, septic tank inspection, pool inspection, and structural inspection.
There are a number of ways you can prepare for a buyer’s Due Diligence Period, in order to make it go more smoothly for all involved.
- First, you can consider conducting a pre-listing home inspection and repair any defects that inspection finds – a small investment now may mean less headache and stress when it’s time for the buyer to conduct his own inspections.
- Second, you can be sure that your home – including the garage, basement, and any storage rooms – are clear of clutter and debris; the better and more complete an inspection the inspector can conduct, the more peace of mind the buyer will have about the findings.
- Third, you can keep good records of all service calls and maintenance, especially on your home’s major systems, like the air conditioning units, the furnace, the hot water heater, etc. and make those records available for the buyer to review. The more transparent you are, the more the buyer will trust you and your home.
- Finally, you can be amenable to any reasonable repairs that a buyer asks for – a buyer should not expect to get a brand new house, unless he is buying one, but he should expect to get a home that has been well cared for, with systems in good working order.
Once the buyer has completed all of his inspections, he will compile an Inspection Contingency Removal Addendum, in which he will list all of the items that he wishes to have you repair prior to closing. This will begin a second negotiation process with the buyer, much like the contract negotiation, and we will attempt to come to a mutual agreement on the repairs, again keeping in mind that the goal is for it to be a win/win for all parties, with each making concessions and coming out with an agreed-upon list.
A walk-through of the property just prior to closing will allow the buyer to determine whether you have completed all of the items he has requested. In some cases, the buyer may choose to bring his home inspector back to re-inspect those items, at his expense, to verify that the repairs have been done in a good and workmanlike manner. It is a good idea to request written quotes and receipts from all contractors who execute the repairs, so that the buyer can have written proof that the repairs have been completed.