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The Importance of Inspection and Repairs Prior to Selling Your Home

There are three main reasons you want to conduct a home inspection and make the proper repairs before putting your house on the market.

Electrical

Did you know that faulty wiring is one of the most common defects found in a home inspection? Accordingly to home expert, Rick Yerger, faulty electrical wiring can cause a house fire and any exposed electrical wires are susceptible to physical damage and can lead to wreaking havoc. If this is a problem in your home, you want to make sure it’s resolved prior to selling.

Termite

Conduction a termite inspection is crucial in the home selling process. Why? Because it validates the condition of the home structure. When you call for a termite inspection, the exterminators will check these 5 things:

1. Wood Damage

2. Wood in Your Landscape

3. Mud in Construction Joints

4. Mud Tubes

5. Evidence of Swarmers

If any of these areas are discovered to be problematic, it could compromise the structure of your home and you need to be prepared to correct the possible damages.

Health and Safety Concerns

This area of the inspection includes checking for water damage to make sure there is no mold, verify gas meter and supply tap, authenticate insulation, etc. You want to be sure that the home you’re putting on the market has a healthy environment and is safe to live in.

Need at recommendation for any of the inspections mentioned above?

Call us 714-660-2122 we’d be happy to connect you with some of the best vendors in the business.

Timing the Market

When you think of selling your home, do you wonder when the best time to sell will be? Do you rely on the market to tell you when you should sell?

If so, stop right there.

One of the biggest mistakes a seller can make is chase the market. If it’s your time to sell, then sell.

The reality is, for most homeowners, the fluctuating market doesn’t dictate life changes—personal circumstances do. Whatever your reason is for selling—job change, need to downsize, growing family, etc.—the best time to sell is when you need to.

Renowned financial advisor, David Bach, once said, “Don’t worry about timing the market in real estate. It’s time in the market that will matter for you.”

This statement is so true and here is how it plays out.

I know two different buyers who both bought high in 2006. When the real estate market took a turn for the worst in 2007, one buyer opted for a strategic short sale because projected market trends looked dismal and they thought it was the smart move to make.

At the same time, the other buyer chose not to sell even though the value of their home significantly decreased and they owed more on the loan than the house was worth.

Fast forward to 2016, and the buyer who opted for a short sale still doesn’t have the funds to buy a home because home values have fully recovered faster than their ability to save for a down payment.

On the other hand, the buyer who decided to stay in their home has built equity over time and is now selling it to move into a bigger house.

What is the takeaway lesson?

Selling your home isn’t about timing the market; it’s about how much time you are in the market.

Listing when it makes the most sense based on your circumstances is the best time to sell.

So, when you’re ready to sell your home—sell it! Don’t worry about timing the market.

Dishonest Disclosures

A homeowner is expected to know things about their house that buyers wouldn’t ordinarily know.

Like the time an investor bought a vacant house with the carpet missing in the upstairs closet. Why was it missing? It was not disclosed.

After closing escrow, the neighbors came over and asked if he knew about the guy who hung himself in the upstairs closet. Sadly, the answer was a resounding “NO!”.

Or how about the time the seller said the newly installed Solar Panels could be removed and agreed to discard them only to find out the panels had to stay with the home?

After much argumentation and debate, the buyer backed out of escrow because he didn’t want the Solar Panels.

Sometimes a seller should know better. They need to be sure they are disclosing properly.

Risk Management (aka making sure you or your clients don’t get sued) is a necessary part of our career. It is something we take very seriously by investing our time and energy in making sure we are up to date on the latest requirements.

I have personally attended many hours of training on the subject matter and two particular phrases have stayed with me all these years.

The first, “When in doubt, disclose.”

If you, the homeowner, think that what you know may hinder the buyer from buying your home, you should disclose it.

Maybe it’s a neighbor that is constantly throwing late parties and you’ve called the police to intervene. Or perhaps it’s a pending HOA fee increase that was communicated to you only a week ago.

The simple rule of thumb is this…If you were buying your home again and the seller didn’t tell you about _________ (fill in the blank), would you be upset?

If you think you’d like to know, then it’s worth the risk of a cancelled escrow in order to protect yourself.

The second phrase you should know is “Buyers don’t sue because of what they know, they sue because they are surprised.”

This is so true.

Again, if a buyer moves into a house and is surprised by what they find, they may sue the seller. If the seller has disclosed this “surprise” somewhere in writing while in escrow, the buyer probably doesn’t have a legal claim.

Does the Buyer’s Home Inspection Cover You?

We recently encountered another situation where a buyer was upset due to a water leak they had in the recent rains. The home closed escrow almost two years ago and within those years we didn’t have a lot a rain.

However, when heavier rains passed through, the buyer called us, angry at the seller, claiming that the seller should have disclosed the leakage.

We sent our roofer to take a look at the leak, pulled out the file to see what the seller had disclosed, and also verified the home inspection records.

The home inspection indicated an area of the roof needed repairs. The record showed the buyer signed off on the report and escrow closed.

In this case, the buyer had to pay the roof repair bill.

But does a buyer’s home inspection automatically protect you?

No. A buyer’s home inspection does not protect you against disclosure items that cannot be discovered in the home inspection process—such as neighborhood problems, recurring repairs, and other similar concerns that a seller would know but a buyer or inspector would not.

So when it comes to disclosures, remember that when in doubt, disclose.