Keller Williams Realty

Be Proactive - Deal With the Defects Upfront

Posted By: Alan Donald In: Home Marketing
Date: Sun, May 3rd 2009 12:54 pm

Even if you are selling your home "as-is" (which means you are not willing to pay for any necessary repairs), most buyers will include an inspection contingency clause in their offer. This will allow them to hire any number of experts (including a home inspector, a termite inspector and a structural engineer) to make sure that the house is safe, structurally sound and all the systems are working properly (i.e. that they are not buying a "lemon"). The inspection contingency allows them to walk away from the deal without losing their earnest money if they are not satisfied with the condition of the property.

You, like most owners, will probably know most of the issues that need attention around your house. Don't wait for the buyer's inspection to deal with known defects or deferred maintenance issues - the time to get ready for the home inspection is before you put your home on the market! Most purchase agreements require the sellers to convey a safe and sound home, with all systems in working order. Issues such as plumbing or electrical problems or roof/skylight/window leaks are going to show up in any inspection report and you will need to fix them anyway before closing (under pressure) - so you won't save any money by delaying the repairs.

Buyers may be frightened away by an inspection report that contains a long list of needed repairs. By being proactive and fixing all defects before you put your home on the market, you may be able to sell it quicker, and ensure a smoother contract-to-closing transaction. This is especially important in a Buyers' Market - when buyers have lots of homes to choose from - including new construction homes in the area.

Offering a "defect-free" and well presented home will greatly help to sell it quicker and for a higher price. It will also prevent contract-to-closing headaches.