Should I get an inspection before calling a realtor

zen4dFebruary 1, 2014

About to put house on market but want to just depersonalize the home and have closets sparse and clean.
It's an older home but very nice, in a sought-after location and has a 36 ft pool, but some things have been replaced over the years.

Should I get an inspection before even calling a realtor so that I could fix things before putting the house up for sale?

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Absolutely not. Let the realtor advise you on "must do" repairs/modifications before going on the market and then proceed with those if you choose.

When a potential buyer has a home inspection, they will then come back with a list of requests. DO NOT look at that inspection either. Let your realtor handle the transaction.

This is to protect you from liability down the road.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 3:32PM
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carsonhelm.....You are saying for the Seller to not even look at the Inspection Report from the potential Buyers? That is nonsense and not good advice. The Seller needs to know what items the Buyers are requesting to be addressed and will need to respond IN WRITING to the Inspection do you advise the Seller to dollars...5,000.00 dollars? Most sales contracts state that a complete copy of the Inspection Report will be presented to the Seller with the Inspection Notice anyway so no sense in burying your head in the sand when a contract states this.

The Sellers Realtor should assist in the Inspection process but certainly can't sign anything for the Seller.

I don't recommend a pre-listing home inspection unless there are structural or major expense issues that you are aware of.

I don't mean to be a jerk but what qualifies you to give this kind of advice?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 6:04PM
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Additional reason the advice of carsonhelm is poor--in many states Listing agents must also inform potential buyers of critical issues that have come up in an inspection report. The listing agent must certainly look at it in order to advice clients. Any seller would be foolish to take the word of another, even though own agent, without reading it themselves.

Once it comes up in a report, or even a request for a repair, if it is a major health or safety issue, it must be mentioned to future buyers.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 6:14PM
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My only thought is to make sure you had permits pulled and signed off on any work needing permits--like adding a pool, major construction, new furnace etc. Did you do any work? Not painting etc.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 6:39PM
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Nothing new, just replacement of things.

This post was edited by zen4d on Sun, Feb 2, 14 at 1:34

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 7:13PM
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In some areas, some of those items would require a permit to be pulled (tub, tiling (if of shower, or if undertile heat)), etc.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 7:22PM
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An inspection report would not look at replacement of a fridge or other appliances. If you think that the items that you mention will be a problem, then consult with a realtor first. If your house has dated bathrooms or carpet, for example, those won't show on an inspection report either. But you'd probably be better off leaving such items to the buyer's discretion. Your realtor should have a good eye for such things.

Now, if you suspect insect damage or dryrot, you and your realtor might want to get a termite inspection done before listing, just to look at hidden damage and not get a surprise later.

Talk to a realtor (or interview several) before you take on any large projects.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 9:00PM
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I may have given the wrong impression. There are no problems with the house. I would buy this home all over again.

This post was edited by zen4d on Sun, Feb 2, 14 at 1:32

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 12:51AM
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Than talk to a realtor before you do anything.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 1:48AM
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I would NOT. Wouldn't you then have to disclose anything that might well be a case of letting sleeping dogs lie? I'm NOT saying to hide things. Just saying not to LOOK for problems that aren't evident.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 3:29AM
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If a seller is willing to repair items to get the home ready to sell, then it will save them money and grief to do it on their terms, rather than wait until a buyer points them out, and then has the leverage on their side.
Either way, you will have to deal with them.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 12:44PM
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It's not uncommon to do this where we live, but you do have to then disclose anything the inspection reveals. (When we bought our house, the entire inspection report that the seller had done before listing was part of the disclosures.) However, in our area you also have to disclose inspection findings by potential buyers who then walk away, so there would be no option for the seller to "not look" at it--by law it has to be disclosed to the next buyers who come in.

The way this worked with our home, and the way many sellers in our area seem to handle it, is that the pre-listing inspection was included in the disclosures. Many major items that might have been dealbreakers were fixed prior to listing on the seller's terms (in our case, it was a new roof and some other repairs), and many other items were left as-is (in our case, lots of small cases of dry rot, an older electrical system, etc.) but were made clearly evident to potential buyers so that they could then be factored into the offer price. (Our seller also included things like estimates for upgrading the electrical and repairing the dry rot in the disclosures packet.)

I would wait to do this until you talk to a realtor, but I do think it is a great thing to do if you are willing to hear about and able to deal with any major problems that might surface in the inspection. As first-time buyers, we were more likely to bid on homes that included the inspection report because we felt more confident in the home's condition (even though most/all of the issues should turn up in the buyer's inspection anyway). Whether it makes sense for you really depends on your local market and whether this is customary or not, though. A realtor can advise you on that.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 5:22PM
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LOTO and rrah -- The seller's agent should review the requests from the buyer and communicate that to the seller.

Suppose the seller looks at the report, and it's recommended the house needs a new roof. Then they offer up to either pay, or split the cost.

Now suppose the buyer knew the recommendation was for a new roof, but was planning on expanding or remodeling and was planning on that anyhow as part of the remodeling costs -- regardless of the current condition of the roof. They were not expecting money from the seller in the first place. But as long as they are offering...........

The agents' jobs are to negotiate the sale. The seller can accept, negotiate or reject requests.

This is all to protect the seller -- since that is who posed the question.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Your "suppose/scenario" should never happen..the Buyer FIRST presents the Seller an Inspection Report along with a list of items (Inspection Notice) they want repaired/compensation for...the Seller does not read the Inspection Report and make a list of items they will repair and present it to the Buyer. BUT the Buyer can ask for a new roof even knowing that they are going to tear the house down.
Of course the Seller doesn't have to read the Inspection Report but in my state and many others the Inspection Report must be presented to the Seller if the Buyer is askng fo rrepairs.

This post was edited by LOTO on Mon, Feb 3, 14 at 8:14

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 9:27PM
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I don't believe it is bad advise not to request an inspection prior to listing, nor review a prospective buyers inspection.
The buyer may only request one or two repairs on a total report, why would I want to know every picky detail noted, that is not a buyer fix request?
As a seller, I've never been given a full report from a buyer, only fix requests. Some I fixed, others I refused, it still closed with the buyer accepting my refusal.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 9:44PM
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