Inspections Through the Sellers’ Lens

Last week we began the discussion of inspections through the lens of the buyer.  I recommended property inspections, prepared you for what to expect with results of the inspection report, and shared some insight on how to work with your REALTOR® on how to proceed with the information found in the report.  As the report information is shared with the seller/homeowner, there may be a different set of emotions experienced.  For example the report may highlight several mechanical and/or safety concerns that have been updated by code (unbeknownst to the Seller) over the last few years.  Let’s say the current homeowners have lived in their home for 30+  years.  They’ve raised three kids (all of whom have moved out) and made years of memories in the home. It is emotional enough that they’ve made the difficult decision to move, now they are surprisingly faced with an inspection report that says there are areas of their home that are unsafe or have been neglected to the point of repair/replacement. You can imagine those feelings don’t set well. Meanwhile on the other side, the buyers just want to safeguard their investment and be sure they are making a sound decision in their purchase.

Anything that is manmade has a strong tendency to break down over time. The construction of houses and the elements therein are no different.  Coach Lou Holtz said, “life is 10 percent what happens to you, and 90 percent how you respond to it”.  When something in your house needs attention, tend to it.  My fellow REALTORS®  and I have seen it all too often. The negative impact of deferred home maintenance has been as drastic as termination of a contract and loss of the sale of a house.  From the buyers’ perspective, they simply continue their house search and identify another house to purchase. However the sellers will ultimately need to address the issue either by repairing/replacing the concern at hand or offering a price concession to offset the repair. Either way 9 times out of 10, the issue could have been corrected efficiently and much more cost effectively at the onset of the occurrence.  Let’s dive into some more specifics of some general home maintenance tips.

Arguably one of the least obvious but could be the most damaging is property drainage. Efficient drainage can be observed during heavy downpours.  During a heavy rain, grab an umbrella and go outside. Check out any drainage patterns and ensure the water is flowing away from your foundation. Make sure gutters aren’t clogged and downspouts are funneling water away from the foundation. Poor drainage can lead to moisture problems in basements and crawl spaces. If you have a sump pump, be sure the sump pump discharges away from the foundation and not back into the sub/surface water.  Much more to come next week regarding what to look for to protect your home from costly repairs down the road.

Until next week, love where you live.  And If you don’t… contact your Local REALTOR®.

Brian Haufe, 2022 MBOR President