Pre-Sale Home Inspection

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I may be selling my home in the next year or so. I am therefore thinking of getting a home inspection report to see what needs to be fixed before putting the house on the market. Any pro cons to hiring someone to do this? When I Google, I find a number of companies advertising to do this in my area but have no idea how to judge their level of competence.
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On 6/19/2013 12:24 PM, njoracle wrote:

'Bout only thing you can do is ask for references and see if folks have been happy w/ services rendered unless you're competent-enough in various aspects of Codes, construction, etc., that you don't have any need for them, anyway.
$0.02, imo, ymmv, etc., etc., etc., ...
--


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Call 3 or 4 or more of the companies and ask for references.
Call a couple of real estate agents in your area and ask them who they trust for inspections. They'll be glad to give you some names especially if you mention nicely that you'll contact them (the agent) and give them a shot to compete for the listing when you are ready. "Please don't contact me, I'll call when I'm ready" Any decent agent will honor your wish.
The one con I can think of is that you might have to pay for the inspection twice. There's the one you'll pay for now and the one you might pay for when you actually list the house. You may not pay for the buyer's inspection directly, but it's possible (only possible) that somewhere in the negotiations, the cost will be absorbed somehow. Obviously that will all depend on the housing market in your area at the time you list the house.
Good luck!
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On Wednesday, June 19, 2013 1:24:33 PM UTC-4, njoracle wrote:

There is one big downside. If you hire an inspector and he finds something material that isn't right, now under NJ law you would know about it and have to disclose it to future buyers or fix it. And many buyers will hire their own home inspector anyway. I wouldn't trust one hired by the home seller. So now you have the opportunity for two inspections to find stuff that you need to fix.
I would fix the obvious things, things that you know are broken and that you legally are required to disclose. I wouldn't hire an inspector.
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wrote:

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I see your point, but I'd like to offer a counter point. No argument, just a discussion.
I'm the type of guy that would rather know upfront if there was an issue that might impact the sale, especially if I have a year to take care of it. I guess I could wait and hope that the buyer's inspector wouldn't find it, but if I assume that they will hire someone just as competent as I would, then the issue is going to be found and it could cause any number of issues related to the sale.
e.g. The buyer's inspector finds a bad sewer pipe. They buyer could run like hell, and I'd have to disclose it (anyway) to anyone else that puts in an offer. Or I could be in a time crunch to get out and into my next house, and I'd have to sweeten the pot with the current buyer to cover the cost of the repair, plus landscaping, etc. or the buyer could say, fix it right now or I walk. Now I'm in emergency mode with no time to shop around for a contractor. I'm sure it will end up costing me more in the long run than if I have a year to get the pipe fixed then take care of my own landscaping, etc.
That's just one example, but I assume you see my point. If we assume that anything my inspector finds is going to be found anyway, I think I'd rather know now than later when it might be the difference between be able to move or not or to at least get the price I thought I could. In general, less stress in an already stressful time.
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On Wednesday, June 19, 2013 2:19:53 PM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

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I don't think your assumption is valid. There are all kinds of home inspectors out there and plenty of them are incompetent. I'm sure you've seen buyers here complaining over the years about major items an inspector missed.

Not a very good example. There is almost zero chance of a home inspector finding a bad sewer line runnning from the house to the street or septic. Unless there is obvious sewage water coming out of the ground. Or when he flushes a toilet, it doesn't go down. And you would already know that. That's the extent of their "inspection", they aren't sending cameras down drain lines, not for a normal house inspection.
Now I'm in emergency mode

While I think the sewer line example isn't a good one, I do agree that if the buyer's inspector finds something, it could cost more if you have to get someone to do all the work, versus DIY. On the other hand, depending on what it is, you can still DIY part of it. For the landscape repair, for example, you could hire some day laborers, buy some shrubs and in a morning, it's done. It's kind of what a lot of DIY folks would do if they were making the repair themselves at any time, no?

That's the very big assumption. And i don't see the compelling advantage of shelling out $500 to hire an inspector and take the chance.
I think

The way I see it, you're likely to pay for some stuff your inspector finds, then pay again for some stuff the other inspector finds. Hopefully there would be a lot of overlap. Why can't you just do the "inspection" yourself? The vast majority of this is simple stuff... Leaking pipes under sinks, leaking water heater, GFCI not working, obviously open electrical junction boxes, spots of rotted siding, etc. I just take care of that myself. I can find those. And if there is some $10,000 pig in a poke that I don't know about, I don't want 2 chances to find it with me paying $500 for the first chance.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Good point. I think I heard somewhere that if an inspector found Radon, the inspector was required to report it to the state. Do you know anything about that?

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Radon testing is done separately here, and not cheap. You can pretest cheap with canisters. Proper test must be yearly measurement. 4 seasons.
Greg

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On Wednesday, June 19, 2013 4:08:38 PM UTC-4, njoracle wrote:

No, I'm in NJ and have not heard that, but can't say for sure it's not true either.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I agree. Let the homebuyer do (and pay for) any home inspections that they may want. And, not all homebuyers decide to have a home inspection done, so leave it up to them.

Also agreed.
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I disagree, both around here and in phoenix where I have family problems found by a inspector REQUIRE all repairs done by a licensed professional once your in the sales process.....
look your probably selling a home worth 100 thousands bucks or more. 500 bucks for a home inspection so you can do the repairs yourself, you will likely save enough on repairs to pay for the inspection.....
and getting the home all set to sell before putting it on the market is just smart planning....
you will be amazed at how many troubles a home inspector finds
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On Thursday, June 20, 2013 4:07:10 PM UTC-4, bob haller wrote:

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This is only possible one of two ways:
1 - There is a state or local law that says all repairs must be done be a licensed professional.
2 - You, as seller, chose to sign a contract that specifically stated that a licensed professional must be used.
I'm betting that if it's true, then it has to be option two. Because no state is going to require a licensed contractor to install a piece of trim molding, tack down some loose wall to wall carpet, paint a ceiling in a bathroom, etc....

Most home inspectors aren't all that good. They can see what I can see. I can probably see more. And if they do happen to find a $5000 problem that I had no idea existed and that the buyer's inspector might not have found, then what?

That's true.

Yes, especially the second one, who finds new stuff, after you've paid $500 for the first one. And the second one probably would have missed some of the stuff guy #1 found.
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On 6/19/2013 12:24 PM, njoracle wrote:

The only recommendation I could give you is to hire an independent home inspector. Don't get one who works for the buyer or real estate company. You want to make sure an inspector has the license and certifications required by your state and local government. ^_^
TDD
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On 6/19/2013 7:33 PM, Red Green wrote:

You snipped out a key point of my response:
"I guess I could wait and hope that the buyer's inspector wouldn't find it, but *if I assume that they will hire someone just as competent as I would*, then the issue is going to be found and it could cause any number of issues related to the sale."
I know that any inspector I would use would be certified and the entire premise of my response was based on the theory that I am dealing with an intelligent buyer who is also going to use a certified inspector.
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that puts in

uoted text -

I second all of Derby Dad's comments!!!!
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wrote:

Nor does anybody else. They are a crap-shoot at best.
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wrote:

Do you live in this home? If so, don't you know what's broken and needs fixing? I wouldn't waste my time or money paying someone to do a pre-inspection. When you are ready to sell clean the place up and put it on the market. Disclose anything you know about it's condition. If the buyer cares they will ask for a home inspection as a condition of the sale. You'll find out the same things from that as you will find out now and you can negotiate with the buyer about what to fix and what to leave alone as you negotiate the price. It's not going to cost any more to fix things then than it will now. But at least then the buyer will be paying for the inspection (around $400 in my neck of the woods) instead of you paying for it.
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On Thursday, June 20, 2013 1:03:19 AM UTC-4, Ashton Crusher wrote:

I agree. When I sold our last house I went ahead and fixed the stuff that was going to be a pain. I left the little bs stuff alone. The inspector i s going to find something or it looks like he didn't do his job. He found a laundry list of small stuff and I went through the list and fixed it whil e the buyer was waiting for financing..
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On Thu, 20 Jun 2013 06:38:22 -0700 (PDT), jamesgang

going to be a pain. I left the little bs stuff alone. The inspector is going to find something or it looks like he didn't do his job. He found a laundry list of small stuff and I went through the list and fixed it while the buyer was waiting for financing..
I should have added a similar comment to my statements.... fix what you know needs fixing and that any buyer will definitely have a problem with. The Inspectors NEED to find something so you WANT to have a few little things that need fixing, just like you said. Leave em a few crumbs, a broken switch plate, leaking faucet, etc.
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On 6/20/2013 1:03 AM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

I think the correct answer varies with the situation. For example, I am a woman who isn't particularly handy, so it's less likely that I'd automatically know what needs fixing. (Same thing with my car, where I sometimes wonder if something is wrong but I'm just too used to it to notice).
The other thing is it might depend on how well houses are selling in your area, and if you want to risk giving the buyers a way to ask for reductions or even to back out. In that case, there may be something to be said for finding out ahead of time if there is anything major that an inspector will hone in on and just get it out of the way. (Then again, my perspective is skewed because an inspector did find something when I sold my last house and the buyers backed out, and it was an uncomfortably long time before I got another decent offer).
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