Selling Your Home in Northern Virginia? Here's What to Expect Regarding Inspections

Inspections can be a daunting part of the process of selling your home. They can often lead to misunderstandings and conflicts between buyers and sellers.

So - you're selling your home. Here’s what you need to know about inspections items.

First of all, when someone puts a contract on your house they will more than likely do an inspection. I don't believe I’ve ever sold a home that wasn’t inspected prior to the sale. When working with my buyers I tell them that a thorough inspection is an absolute must even if the home looks like it’s in good condition or they know the current owner.

A good inspector will find all sorts of hidden defects, so be sure to get a recommendation for a thorough and detailed inspector. And remember, all inspectors are NOT created equal. I, for one, refer my clients to the most amazing inspector - he gets up on roofs and into attics and generally spends about 4 hours inspecting a home. (This would be for a medium-sized town home - for larger home you should expect an inspection to take 5-6 hours if done properly.)

But I digress. So you're selling your home. The new buyer will get your home inspected within 5-10 days of signing the contract. Even if the house is being sold “as is” the purchasers will probably (and should) still inspect your home and are allowed to terminate the contract based on any of the findings. Okay, the buyer’s inspector comes and evaluates your property and writes up the inspection report. (You're allowed to see it.) Next, the buyer’s agent will write an inspection addendum asking for certain items be fixed in order for the transaction to continue.

This is where it can get tricky. I’ve recently had the most frustrating experiences with the buyer and their agent asking for inappropriate items be fixed or replaced. Here is one example. During a recent sale in which the home I was listing was in really great condition, the buyer’s Realtor asked for new appliances. They were in working condition, had no defects, and were not extremely old. If the appliances are working you cannot ask for replacements, people. The same goes with HVAC systems. If it works, you can't ask for a new one. However, you can ask for the appliances or HVAC system to be fixed if there's a problem with those units.

Here are a few items that should be fixed if the inspector finds a problem:

• Roof or chimney issues
• Window issues-opening/closing or broken seal
• Any leaks in bathroom or kitchen
• HVAC system
• Defective appliances
• Electrical issues
• Mold (this is a HUGE issue)
• Termite damage

Please note: a buyer can decide to either ask for repairs or not. Maybe they're planning to replace the appliances anyway. In that case there's no need to ask for the appliances to be repaired. A monetary credit amount can be agreed upon in lieu of making repairs. A combination of doing repairs and issuing a credit is sometimes a good solution.

Also - buyers - you can't ask for new carpet, fresh paint or landscaping because these are not inspection items.

Inspections! This can be a daunting part of the process of selling your home. While this blog may make it sound simple, inspections can often lead to misunderstandings and conflicts between buyers and sellers, and I've seen many deals go south due to these conflicts.

Remember - everything is negotiable, so if you're planning on buying or selling a home, it’s important to work with a Realtor who really knows how to negotiate for you. Contact me with any of your real estate related questions! I would love to assist you!

Ellen Moyer
RE/MAX Allegiance

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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