Top presale real estate inspection to-do's

REThink Real Estate

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Inman Connect New York | January 29 - February 1, 2019

Q: As a seller in this tough market, I asked our agent about doing our own inspection that we could present to the buyer. Our home is 60 years old; we know there are issues; have fixed what we can afford; and adjusted the price to reflect what we can’t afford to change. Our agent is completely against it.

Our contract with him is almost up, so should we go ahead and do this before we sign a new contract? We’re not trying to hide anything but think it would be a plus to be able to present a buyer with complete information from the beginning. –Kris H.

A: There are certainly widely varying opinions within the agent community on the issue of presale inspections, by the seller, to be disclosed in advance to prospective buyers. I, personally, am a big fan — here’s why:

If your home is old, as yours is, and there are things that are wrong with it, as with yours, buyers are likely to see or suspect these property ailments, so to speak, too. But buyers tend to walk into a property, see things that need fixing and do one of the following: (a) mentally overestimate what it will actually cost to fix the issues, (b) mentally underestimate what the repairs will cost, (c) decide that the place will just be too costly or take too much work to repair and/or (d) see the list price as a starting point for negotiations.

As a result, sellers like you tend to either get (a) lowball offers, (b) no offers or (c) get into contracts that the buyers later want to renegotiate.