When I list homes for people they often ask me about the inspection process. I always tell them why pre-inspection is a good idea.

Picture of home inspector standing in front of house inspecting.
Home inspector in front of a house

Most real estate contracts include a clause making the contract contingent on home inspections. Contingent is defined as “occurring or existing only if (certain circumstances) are the case; dependent on”. The buyer has the right to have the home inspected. When major problems are uncovered during inspections there’s a good possibility a contract can fall apart. Every state has different contracts.

For instance in Kansas, as well as most other states, after the inspection the buyer can ask the seller to do repairs. Most contracts are specific as to serious defects. This prevents buyers asking for frivolous or cosmetic repairs. If the buyer and seller can’t come to an agreement on those requested repairs the buyer can terminate the contract and have his earnest money returned.

That’s why having a pre-inspection is a good idea. Having an inspection before you put your house up for sale can head off any potential problems.

When a buyer asks for repairs often they ask for their own contractors or for licensed contractors to do simple jobs. Simple jobs you could easily do yourself. Repairing defects before the home goes up for sale can save money.

Sometimes selling your house “as is” in a strong sellers market is a good idea. That way no surprises and no stress over inspections. If you have already had a pre-inspection you’ll know what to expect. If you have completed repairs before putting the house on the market you’ll have a smother transaction.

The inspection process is where I notice the most stress from sellers. It can get very emotional when repair requests are submitted. personally i dislike the process. I’ve seen deals fall apart over pure pride.

Getting Something

Sometimes buyers, or their agents, will use the inspection process to get something. I’ve had them give a list of repairs and then actually demand money in lieu of or in place of doing the repairs. The repairs are often minor defects sometimes not even real defects at all.

The deal could be held hostage by a buyer, or their agent, threatening to back out if their demands are not met. Yes, it sounds like a crappy thing to do, but it happens.

Buyers could have the mentality that they “want” something in return for the money they spent on the inspector. Even if the house is in perfect condition they may want something done to make themselves feel better.

This is what you avoid by doing a pre-inspection. Know the condition of your house. Take care of any problems before you put it up for sale.

Make it a smooth transaction.


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