Presale inspections can give sellers advantage

Defects disclosed, renegotiations minimized in one fell swoop

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It's becoming more common for sellers to hire inspectors to inspect their property before it's put on the market. The reports are then made available to buyers to review before they make an offer. From a seller's perspective, presale inspections accomplish two goals. One objective -- particularly in states such as California that have seller disclosure requirements -- is to make sure that property defects are disclosed to prospective buyers in a timely fashion. Sellers who order inspections often do so to ensure that defects they might not be aware of are disclosed before, not after, the sale closes. However, presale inspection reports should not be viewed as a substitute for a seller's disclosure obligations. For example, if you are aware of a roof leak, you must disclose it, even if the inspector misses this defect. Another benefit to sellers from presale inspections is that they tend to cut down on renegotiations that can occur after buyers complete their inspections. If the buyer ...