Why Successful Home Sellers Purchase a Home Inspection
With some exceptions, inspections are usually a Buyer expense. So why would a Seller want to pay for a home inspection prior to listing a home for sale?
A home inspection may uncover major defects or safety issues you are not aware of. When you list your home for sale in Delaware, you will be required to fill out a Seller’s Disclosure.
Chapter 25, Title 6 of the Delaware Code, requires a Seller of residential property to disclose in writing all material defects of the property that are known at the time the property is offered for sale or that are known prior to the time of final settlement. Residential property means any interest in a property or manufactured housing lot, improved by dwelling units for 1-4 families. The disclosure must be made on this Report, which has been approved by the Delaware Real Estate Commission and shall be updated as necessary for any material changes occurring in the property before final settlement. This Report shall be given to all prospective Buyers prior to the time the Buyer makes an offer to purchase. This Report, signed by Buyer and Seller, shall become a part of the Agreement of Sale. This Report is a good faith effort by the Seller to make the disclosures required by Delaware law and is not a warranty of any kind by the Seller or any Agents or Sub-Agents representing Seller or Buyer in the transfer and is not a substitute for any inspections or warranties that the Seller or Buyer may wish to obtain. The Buyer has no cause of action against the Seller or Real Estate Agent for material defects in the property disclosed to the Buyer prior to the Buyer making an offer; material defects developed after the offer was made but disclosed in an update of this Report prior to settlement, provided Seller has complied with the Agreement of Sale; or material defects which occur after settlement.
Never Skip Past Reading the Seller’s Disclosure. Please read this section carefully because this Seller’s Disclosure becomes part of the Agreement of Sale.
“I notice on the Seller’s Disclosure that I can answer each question with a Yes, No, or Unknown. Can’t I just answer Unknown to those difficult questions?”
The Disclosure benefits the Seller, not the Buyer. If you disclose a problem and the Buyer signs off on the Disclosure, you have no liability later. But, if you take the easy way and answer Unknown to questions on the Sellers Disclosure, what could happen when you have a live Buyer?
The home inspection may uncover defects or safety issues that you were not aware of. If you do have a home inspection prior to listing, you will have time to address these issues in advance. When a Buyer submits an offer, your listing agent will be able to say, “The Sellers had ABC Home Inspections conduct a thorough home inspection which uncovered a few issues. Here is proof that the Sellers have had them taken care of by licensed contractors; here are the receipts.”
In addition, if you are in an area known for Radon, or if your home has a basement, consider doing a Radon Inspection. If Radon is discovered during a Buyer Inspection, you risk the Buyer backing out altogether.
Let the Buyers do the Home Inspection
You could decide not to do this and wait until you get an offer. Then, when your Prospective Buyer hires a Home Inspector and they discover a hidden defect or a safety issue, your sale may be delayed during negotiations. Will they accept your solution? What will the repairs or negotiation cost you at this point? How much will settlement be delayed and how will that affect you, the Seller, and your prospective Buyer?
If you cannot come to terms, the sale is off. You will have to return the Buyers deposit and put the home back on the market. Any issues discovered in the home inspection will need to be disclosed by you and your Listing Agent to any future prospective Buyers.
So, what will you do if you decide to list your home for sale?
If you thinking of selling your Delaware home, request a copy of our complimentary Home Sellers Guide. It is full of useful tips to get your home showing ready and help it sell for the best price possible. Or schedule an appointment with one of our Active Adults Realty agents today. We’re happy to have a no-strings-attached discussion with you and help you best prepare when the time arrives