Getting a Home Inspection before listing your home for sale

All states are different but in the state of Colorado, a seller is not required to obtain a home inspection prior to selling their home. In most Colorado counties a seller is required to get a septic inspection but that is it. They do not need to have their home inspected. There are many types of home inspections you can perform on a home. Just a few inspections that a buyer would want to have on mountain homes is a general home inspection, roof, well, mold, pests and so on. 

Buyer Orders and Pays for Home Inspections (usually)

When a buyer writes the contract (offer) they put in dates for the home inspection, the inspection objection and the inspection resolution. It is stated in the contract that the buyer has the right to inspect (reasonably) the property for defects. Some agents, like myself, advise homebuyers to attend, at least, the general home inspection. That way they will get to know their new home. They will also see up-close things that will be noted in the 75 page home inspection report.

When the Home Inspector Inspects Your Home

When a seller hires a professional inspector, the idea is that the professional will work for you to help you uncover hidden problems so you can repair or lower the price of your home accordingly. A home inspector is a trained professional who visually inspects the structure and components of a home and looks for any immediate or potential problems. A licensed inspector inspects the roof, driveway, foundation, framing, electrical, air conditioning, and plumbing of homes. Your inspector will usually happily comply, unless inspecting the area of interest would put him in danger of bodily injury or potential damage to the home.

What is the Home Inspection Process in Colorado?

The way home inspections work in Colorado is the buyer writes the offer. They then have about a week (give or take a couple days) to inspect the property. When the general inspection is done that home inspector will “flag” issues that may be an issue. At that point a buyer would decide if they want a specialist in to take a look. Like a roofer or plumber. Basically, the general home inspection will find symptoms then the buyer gets a professional in that field to access further. When the buyer has as much info as possible they will either present the objection or termination. The objection just states the unsatisfactory items they would like replaced or credit for. At that point the seller decides to either 1. fix things as stated. 2. Agree to fix some items. 3. Escrow a certain amount 4. Lower purchase price. 5. Credit the buyer a certain amount or 6. Terminate the contract. Most deals fall apart during home inspection items.  If you are unable to make the necessary repairs, defects found during the inspection can make it difficult to sell your home. If a problem is discovered during a buyer’s review, chances are the buyer will want you to fix it before closing or offering credit. The buyer’s inspection will reveal significant defects, and you will need to fix them if you want to receive the full price for your home.

Sellers Property Disclosure 

Sellers are required to fill out a seller’s property disclosure. This document is to disclose any issues on the property that is known to the seller. The Seller’s Property Disclosure is long document basically listing all mechanicals and areas of a home that might have an issue. That helps jar the seller’s memory. It is a very detailed and complete picture of what a seller knows about their home.

The Home Inspection Now Becomes a Material Fact

One of the reasons a buyer may not want to get a home inspection is pretty simple. Once you know the problems listed in the report, they now become a material fact. It isn’t the seller is trying to hide things but the Seller Property Disclosure specifically states “facts KNOWN to seller”. If you don’t know about, you can’t disclose it. 

Should I Get A Home Inspection Before Listing My Colorado Home For Sale?

Many homeowners ask their real estate agent if it’s worth checking their home before putting it up for sale. A pre-sale inspection can help clear up most doubts about a home. If you inspect your home before putting it up for sale, you will know exactly what condition it is in and what repairs need to be done. Being able to provide buyers with a copy of the pre-inspection report will give them the confidence that your home is in excellent condition.

Pre-Inspection on Your Mountain Home

A pre-inspection, paid by the home seller or listing agent, provides a written report on the condition of the property. As with a home inspection by a buyer, a home inspection checks major systems, mechanical components, windows and doors, and looks for signs of water damage, mold and cracks. The pre-listing home inspection will likely take 2-3 hours, during which time the inspector will thoroughly inspect every part of your home. If you’re ready to sell your home and want to make sure the selling process goes smoothly and quickly, you may want to consider inspecting the home before listing it for sale.

Are You Concerned About The Results of Your Home Inspection?

If you’re concerned that a home inspection by a low-quality buyer could derail the deal, you can have a pre-check now to fix any major defects before listing for sale. It may not be worth doing a pre-screening if your home is new, has recently been renovated, or already knows there are problems and you don’t have the money to fix it before it’s up for sale. Either way, knowing the current state of your home and the need for future repairs will give you more confidence in setting a list price.

If you, as the buyer, refuse to inspect, any post-sale issues are generally your responsibility. The contract may seem like a duplicative job because you know the potential buyer will also inspect your home. Due diligence documents may have a different deadline in the contract than the inspection itself, but make sure all documents related to the home are available for review by the buyer and the inspector.

Buyers Just Need to Focus on Due Diligence 

A little due diligence here can mean you have to worry less about inspection time and show the buyer that your home is in good condition. A home inspection can clear up any doubts a buyer may have about any initial concerns, and can also reduce the stress associated with buying a home. Negotiating after a home inspection can be tricky, but with the right preparation and a little bit of knowledge, the deal inspection stage can be a boon for buyers and sellers alike. According to research from the Zillow Group, 85% of buyers go through at least one inspection during the home buying process, so knowing what they’ll find ahead of time can reduce stress and prevent lengthy negotiations.

A pre-inspection, such as the Windermere Certified Listing 5-point pre-inspection, before listing your home for sale will give potential buyers peace of mind and give them confidence in the price and condition of the home. In some cases, such as the Windermere Real Estate Certified Listing Program, the real estate company responsible for helping you sell your home will include pre-screening in their service fee. Since you haven’t listed your home, you may find time to find a repairman to handle renovations and get quotes from more than one company. Unless you are a real estate professional or investor, you will most likely benefit from professional help and advice to get the most out of your home sale.

Some of these elements are regional, specific to the state, climate and so on. Your real estate professional can give you advice, and your housing inspector will also suggest what additional checks should be requested.