Pre-Inspection Services & Post Inspection Remediation
Inspection Report Remediation
Today it is very common for the purchase contracts for homes to include a provision that allows the Buyer to obtain a home inspection report, even if the Seller is selling “as is”. Many Buyers are being instructed by their Realtors to have a inspection done before listing the properties to eliminate the loss in time when the property is listed. It also helps in the sale of properties.
So, what do Buyers look for when they receive the inspection and what do they typically ask the Seller to repair?
Even if the contract is listed as an “as is” contract, the Buyer can usually back out of the contract if they feel the matters identified in the inspection report are unacceptable. But the Seller is not obligated to make any repairs and can provide a credit towards the purchase price. This is why it makes sense for Sellers and their Realtors to get ahead of the matter and have an inspection prior to the listing. The inspection does not need to be certified since that is what the potential buyer will obtain after the signing of the contract. The Pre-Inspection work that JMJ is performed by qualified professionals who will be able to identify those matters that a certified inspector will identify in their report and have them either fixed or identified for the Seller for possible negotiations with the Buyer.
Monetary Caps – Repairs
As all Realtors are familiar with the process they understand that their are Monetary Cap on Repairs. With a typical contract that does require Seller repairs, there is usually a limit on how much money the Seller is required to spend (usually a % of the sales price or a fixed dollar amount), a limit on what constitutes a “defect”, and a clause which allows the Buyer to back out of the contract if the cost of repairing the defects exceeds the Seller’s limit and the Seller is unwilling to make repairs which exceed the limit.
Post-Inspection Report Defects
If a Seller decides not to have a Pre-Inspection performed and wait until the Buyer hires a certified inspector, a qualified inspectors will provide the home inspection report noting every defect in the home, whether or not it constitutes a “defect” under the contract. The inspector’s job is to find everything that is or may be a potential problem, whether or not the Seller is obligated to fix the problem.
In this case JMJ can review those items Post-Inspection and determine the cost to remediate. The one problem with Post-Inspection remediation is that the Buyer may feel overwhelmed by the defects and try to back out of the contract as soon as possible.
The Typical sales contracts do not require a Seller to repair cosmetic items, (i.e. peeling or chipped paint, paint stains, cracks in tiles or grout, or cracks in driveways). But, cosmetic items can signal other problems, (paint stain being evidence of water damage which may be caused by a roof leak). We can get ahead of the this issue by determining whether a cosmetic item should be cause for concern and need to be remediated.
AC Units and Appliances
It is important to look at the remaining useful life of major components of AC units, and appliances. It is common for certified inspection reports to give an estimated useful life of these items. Even though most contracts do not require the Seller to repair or replace something that is working, if an inspection says the AC unit, or major appliances are likely to need replacement in the near future, that information may determine sales price.
Some insurance companies are now requiring the roof to have at least five (5) years of remaining life before they will insure the home and the Buyers will know that. Insurance companies may even cancel insurance on the home if they do an inspection after the close
Bottom line: Pre-inspections can be a valuable tool in negotiating with the Seller.
JMJ will meet with the Seller and walk through the entire inspection report in order to determine the proper cost to remediate (fix) those matters identified by the certified inspector. Once the costs have been determined we meet with both Realtor and Seller and assist in the final determination as to whether it is more cost beneficial to remediate those matters outlined or provide the Buyer with a credit to perform the work themselves in a future period.