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How to Prevent a Home Inspection from Unraveling Your Sale

You’ve decided to sell your home and you want a pre-sale home inspection. Congratulations, you are taking control of the sale of your home.  That’s important for you to get top dollar and the right terms.  But as a senior seller, what can you expect from the home inspection?  Since home inspectors look for hidden problems, it is helpful to understand what happens during and after an inspection.

NWI Seniors Image of Home Inspector, preparing home, aging in place or relocatingHome inspectors look for defects that create safety issues or loss of value to the home.  Cosmetic issues such as painting and replacing carpeting are not part of the home inspection process.

The home inspector starts outside and looks for structural problems.  The foundation, age and condition of the roof, driveway, walkways, stairs, windows, deck, and gutters and downspouts are thoroughly checked.  The inspector also looks at the slope of your yard and whether trees are too close to your home as these can cause structural damage and water leakage.

The inside is also checked for defects and signs of structural damage or water leakage.  This includes the attic, basement, and crawl space.

The electrical system, plumbing, and heating and air conditioning are checked.  Carbon monoxide testing is also done.

Inspectors may or may not check for of pests or wood-destroying insects, depending on the contract.  But it is important to include a pest inspection because lenders typically want one.

Once the inspection is complete, you’ll receive a report.  Typically, the defects and safety hazards are listed first with recommendations to correct them.  The rest of the report shows the details of the inspection by systems.

As a senior seller in Indiana, you must disclose known defects and problems on the disclosure form and this is one reason sellers do not want a pre-sale home inspection.  Sellers may think not knowing is better.   The challenge is that buyers want inspections.  It is better for a seller to know the defects before marketing the home.  This way senior sellers can decide what’s best for them.  As a seller in Indiana, you do not have to fix the defects, just disclose them.  If you choose not to fix them, you can sell your home “as is”.  But if you fix them, you maintain control of the sale because you can choose your own contractor in your own time.  This controls your costs and gives you a better bargaining position when the buyer asks for unnecessary repairs.

Are you a senior or senior helper in NWI who needs help moving?  Call me today at 219-315-6569 to find out what your home is worth.  Remember to request your free guide.

For more tips on real estate, aging-in-place, and not outliving your money, request a copy of our free book, The Northwest Indiana Guide for Seniors.