We know buyers typically get a home inspection but does a seller need to get a home inspection also? The short answer is yes. A seller may think the house is in great shape, and it may be. However, when was the last time you had the roof checked, crawled through the attic? Since you know the buyer will get an inspection, a seller should also. Sellers then can find and repair items that will typically show up on the inspection report.
1. What is the Cost of a Home Inspection
The cost of a home inspection usually varies depending on the size of the house. Some inspectors charge more for older homes as they usually take longer to inspect. Also, some Home Inspectors in Arizona will complete a pool inspection. Some will inspect the yard watering system. Be sure to ask what the inspection fee covers. Also, you should receive a written report from the home inspector. This report should contain a summary of the inspection, which identifies issues of particular concern. The home inspector should be willing to walk you around the house at the end of the inspection so you can have an understanding of the issues found.
2. Why Should I have a Home inspection?
Sellers need to be aware of any problems with the property that could cause a buyer to ask for repairs or credit in lieu of repairs. Sometimes buyers find the inspection report so full of issues they will cancel the contract and get their earnest money back. First-time buyers especially may be overwhelmed with a long list of issues, even though many are minor.
The items on the list may be inexpensive to repair, but sometimes the sheer number of items will scare buyers.
There are times when sellers find there are repair items they are not expecting. It can take time to find someone to come to the house, give an estimate and schedule the repair. In Arizona, if you have an executed Purchase contract, a seller has five days after receiving a repair request to respond.
The seller can either agree to make all repairs or decline to make any repairs. Also, the seller can pick and choose which repairs they are willing to make. When sellers get an inspection before the property goes on the market, they have time to get estimates and schedule repairs as they please.
3. Why Should the Roof Be Inspected?
No matter how meticulous a homeowner may be, there are areas of the home that we rarely see. A roof is one of these places. In Arizona, we rarely see a roof close up. An inspection can turn up broken or cracked roof tile. Also, it is not unusual to have broken mortar caps. When there are trees next to the house, there may be an accumulation of debris on the roof If not removed, the debris could cause rainwater (in those few rain storms we get) to back up under the tiles. This moisture could cause roof leaks. Often, the first time a homeowner is aware of any roof problems is during a rainstorm!
4. Do I Need a Termite Inspection before my House Goes On The Market?
Buyers will usually have a termite inspection when purchasing a home in the Phoenix metro area. There is a saying here, that either a house HAS termites or WILL have termites. We live in a desert. We have subterranean termites. These termites live in the ground and are rather slow-moving. These are easily treated. Many homeowners have monthly pest control service to end the termite issue. Termites do come back after treatment. Most companies that treat for termites provide a one year warranty. So yes, get a termite inspection before putting your home on the market. Buyers coming from the midwest and east coast know termites in those areas are very aggressive. These buyers are often alarmed by the termite inspection showing active termites.
5. Do I have to Fix Everything on the Home Inspection?
It is up to a seller to decide what inspection items to repair prior to putting the house on the market, what you repair is up to you. It would be wise to address any electrical or plumbing issues that are sure to come up in a buyer’s inspection report. Many buyers consider these safety issues and will most likely ask for them to be repaired, even if minor items. You can fix minor items yourself, hire a handyman or a plumber or electrician. Often when buyers ask for electrical repairs. They may request the work be done by an electrician and not the homeowner or a handyman. The same for plumbing repairs. Buyers typically ask for licensed trades to complete repairs.
A seller would naturally want to fix a leaking roof. The sellers will continue to live in the house until the completion of the sale, perhaps a few months. If you have water damage from rain, you could be faced with damage to the interior of your house.
Fix the items that would be most concerning to a buyer. Also, complete inexpensive items. You don’t want the buyer’s inspector to issue a laundry list of items. If there are too many issues, the buyer may decide not to purchase your house.
More than likely, the same items your inspector found will be the same ones the buyers will find. In Arizona, home inspectors are required to be licensed by the state. Now justs having a license doesn’t ensure you have a great inspector. However, there is some comfort in knowing they have met certain requirements.
6. Do I have to Disclose Everything on the Home Inspection?
In Arizona, the Seller Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS) is 8 pages of questions about WHAT you know about the house. Arizona law strongly recommends sellers disclose what they know about a property. The SPDS ask if you are “aware” of certain repairs. If you have a home inspection and make repairs, then disclosure that the faucet leaked and you had it repaired. Disclosure the water heater leaked and you had it repaired/ replaced. A home inspector can typically see where repairs were made and will note this in the report. It doesn’t matter whether the repair was on the roof, in the attic or under a sink. Better to disclose an item to a buyer and note the repairs were completed.
7. Do I Have to Give my Inspection Report to the Buyer
Check your state law. In Arizona, sellers are not required to give the report to the buyer. However, they are required to disclose what they know about the property. Think of an inspection report as only a report of a POINT IN TIME. Just think about it. The report only covers the condition of the house the day it was inspected. What if a month later, a problem develops, such as a leak or electrical issue? The seller’s inspection report is intended to show sellers things in the home that could be malfunctioning. For example, often there is an outlet in the garage that doesn’t work. The sellers didn’t know this because the plug is in an area they don’t use and do not have a reason to plug anything in. Perhaps a GFCI in the kitchen doesn’t work, the seller may not be aware of this.
In Arizona, per the residential purchase contract, buyers are required to provide a seller a copy of an inspection report.
8. Is everything Bad On An Inspection Report?
Some items on an inspection report are informational only. In Arizona, sellers are not required to bring a house up to code when they sell it. However, if certain remodeling is done, the seller may have to bring that portion of the remodel up to code. Homeowners remodeling will want to use a licenses contract who will do a quality job, but ensure all necessary permits are obtained and that work meets current code requirements. Also, a house built in 1950, in its original configuration is not required to be brought up to today’s code. A home inspector may tell a buyer that while the house meets code for when it was built, today’s codes are different. Building codes often change as we have better products and information. Sometimes there are better options and the inspector makes the buyer aware of this. Inspectors provid this informatin to educate the buer, not to frighten them away.
So there is definitely a benefit for a seller to get a home inspection before putting the house on the market. Sellers can make repairs of items certain to show up on a buyer’s inspection. Also, sellers can get estimates for the repairs without being under the time presser a typical is when they must respond to a repair request within five days. Most home inspections turn of minor things the seller wasn’t even aware of and may be easy to fix. To avoid a buyer being overwhelmed by a long list of minor repairs, be proactive and get a presale inspection.
9. Phoenix Homes on the Market in the last 7 days
$250,000 – $350,000
Contact the Shirley Coomer Group at Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living