Home sellers would rather not have problems with their home appear before their house is sold and homebuyers do not want to be stuck with problems that are discovered after they have already handed over their hard earned money and moved in.
Simply put, the seller does not want to get a surprise issue they were unaware of come to light during the transaction that will stop the sale, and the buyer wants to make sure that there are no unforeseen costly repairs looming.
Home inspections provide everyone involved in a transaction with knowledge about the condition of a property's major systems. Ideally the information they receive from the inspector should help the buyer make a more informed decision as to how they will proceed with the purchase.
"Homebuyers don't want to be surprised with leaking windows, doors or roofs the first time it rains" says Bud Hayes, president of the Los Angeles-East Valley Chapter of the California Real Estate Inspection Association. He adds, "Home inspectors check for these things. They also check furnaces, air-conditioning, plumbing, electrical, foundations, attics, roofs, and other hard-to-reach spaces."
Maintaining a property can help property owners save money by having systems that operate better, last longer, and reduce the issues a property inspector will discover when the property is offered for sale. The homeowner should make sure to do the following maintenance items on a regular basis:
- Keep exterior surfaces protected with paint, caulking and sealers. The exterior surfaces bare the brunt of the sun, rain and wind and if properly maintained will keep water from seeping into the house through windows, doors and decks.
- Roof gutter systems, yard drainage around the house and the underground storm drain systems should be kept clear of debris so water will flow away from the house.
- Maintain seals around sink fixtures and counter penetrations that could allow water to seep through causing damage to the countertop or the underlying cabinetry.
- Replace dirty and clogged filters for heating systems, cooling systems or range hoods. Proper airflow allows these systems to operate more efficiently and reduce the potential for damage or fire.
A property owner who is unsure about the condition of the various components of their property could hire a professional real estate inspector to give a full assessment of each major system. The information could then be used to make the needed repairs so that the home could be better maintained.
During a sale, that inspection information and any documentation of repairs made could be used to fully disclose the condition of a property to any potential buyers. In a sales transaction a buyer must get his or her own inspection. The buyer's inspector is bound to find issues, which the buyer will most likely use to negotiate a price adjustment. A savvy seller will fully disclose any issues as well as document all repairs for any potential buyer. That seller can then tell the potential purchaser to make their offer based on that data because unless their inspector finds something significantly different than what was already disclosed; there will be no renegotiations in escrow.
So you see, properly maintaining a property and properly disclosing issues and repairs can save property owners money.
By John LaRocca, Certified California Real Estate Inspector and a licensed general contractor. Contact him at 818/951-1795 or www.LaRoccaInspect.com