More reasons to look at pre-list home inspections:
Pointing a finger at the house or the home inspector is a typical reaction to a buyer walking away after the inspection, but let’s look at the bigger picture. Deals can go south for a lot of reasons, including financing, conditional sales, buyer remorse – you name it.
Beyond the condition of the house and the results of the inspection, something else often happens. When the home inspection report describes something, anything the buyer wasn’t expecting, this can become a sticking point – and cancelling the deal has more to do with a buyer's expectations than the actual contents of the report. The simple solution is buyers having more realistic expectations before they present their offer to purchase.
Three reasons today’s buyers cancel after a home inspection.
1. Buyers are unprepared
There are precious few ways for buyers, especially young or first-time buyers to learn how houses work, or how to qualify or quantify risk. These things are learned through experience, at the school of hard knocks – and a great number of today’s buyers didn’t grow up working on their homes with their parents.
2. Great expectations
Many of today’s buyers expect a level of comfort and performance that homeowners couldn’t even imagine fifty or sixty years ago. People are buying much larger and more expensive homes with less knowledge of how houses perform. With fewer signs on front lawns, buyers have less time to pick and choose. Multiple offers spur sudden decisions, which can quickly develop into buyer remorse.
3. Better home inspection reports
Home inspections, like real estate have changed dramatically over the past 25 to 30 years. Better trained inspectors and hugely improved reporting systems give prospective purchasers more information about a home than they may be prepared to absorb.
The Bottom Line:
The main reason deals fall apart after a home inspection, is that the contents of the report may differ substantially from what the buyer was expecting.
A pre-listing home inspection - one that is obtained by the seller or their agent before a house is listed for sale, can positively influence a home buyer’s decision. It signals openness about the condition of the home and reduces the likelihood of unpleasant surprises - things that could potentially affect the transaction.
These inspections also give the discriminating buyer upfront information on the condition of the home, and in some cases, a preemptive seller's inspection means that repairs and minor improvements will more likely be completed. The report also signifies to buyers that the sellers made all efforts to sell the house, and cared about selling to somebody who was going to be satisfied with the condition of the home and the repairs completed.
"Realtors who recommend pre-list inspections give their client's homes a marketing advantage."
Gil Strachan is a professional home inspector, representing Electrospec Home Inspection Services in east-central Ontario since 1994.