Inspection Overload

Real Estate

Inspection Overload: Why You Should Get Inspections Up Front If You Are Selling in Marin County
MAY 4, 2017 / LEAVE A COMMENT
One of the other interesting outcomes of the hot market is inspection overload. It works like this.

The buyer gets into contract, over list price, and is ecstatic. They just beat out a bunch of other buyers. So what do they do? Inspect, inspect, inspect in an effort to find something wrong, and gain concessions back on the price.

We had a listing where the Seller, following our sage advice, had done a home inspection, pest inspection, and had replaced the sewer lateral. The house was very clean, with almost no issues. They had also used the inspectors we recommended, who are well known and respected in Marin.

I was more than a little surprised when the agent who represented the prevailing buyer (there were two offers) advised me they needed an entire day as they had scheduled 1). their own home inspection 2) their own pest inspection 3) a drainage inspection 4) a chimney and fireplace inspection 5) a roof inspection and 6) a structural engineer inspection.

I immediately asked, “Gee, why didn’t you hire a soils engineer?”

That is about, by my reckoning, well over $2000 in inspection fees, for a house that has already been thoroughly checked out. According to the contract, the buyer is allowed to do any inspection they want, if they ask. We always encourage buyers to do inspections if needed, or if the seller has an existing one by a reputable contractor, then we at least do a walk through with him, usually for about $150. But all new ones? On a house clearly in excellent condition? Inspection overload.

So if you are a seller, what do you do?

First, get your own inspections up front, from reputable inspectors. Don’t save $75 and hire the guy no one has heard of from Vallejo. Second, work to get other buyers into backup, if you have multiple offers, so you have leverage if someone starts to press for concessions.

And finally, prepare yourself mentally – you are about to hear the worst possible things about your home in ways you didn’t dream were possible, from trade specialists you didn’t even know existed.

Just remember you are now in a business deal, and you are negotiating. And with good representation, we can preserve your hard won price and get you through to close.