Home Inspections Still Critical in a Seller’s Market
Welcome to our spring edition of From the Rafters. As crocuses, daffodils, and hyacinths begin to pop up as fast as eager buyers in this current seller’s market, we hope that business is blooming in your area as well. At A-Pro, we’re seeing promising signs as the U.S. begins to open up and the gears of industry start grinding again.
As you may be experiencing, however, the demand for housing is through the roof in many markets, far outstripping the number of available homes. In the frenzied rush to snatch up coveted listings in this competitive market, there have been more than a few instances of highly motivated buyers making ill-advised decisions by skipping the home inspection.
The team at A-Pro would like to offer this friendly reminder about the importance of encouraging your clients to make a home inspection an essential part of the home buying/selling process. Recommending that your clients get a comprehensive home inspection:
Decreases the chances that buyers will find costly surprises once they move in
Helps all parties arrive at a fair selling price
Makes you look like a hero to your selling clients by having their homes listed as Certified Pre-Owned—a proven way to help them sell faster and keep deals moving toward closure
Reduces your professional liability exposure and protects you and your selling clients in the event of lawsuits
In this issue, we’ll be looking at the benefits of having your selling clients get a home inspection before placing the property on the market. In a seller’s market, hiring an A-Pro inspector to perform a Certified Pre-Owned Home Inspection can be a smart move with a number of advantages for you, your selling client, and the buyer.
Best of luck this spring! No matter what direction the housing market turns, you can rest assured that when your clients need a trusted home inspection from a certified professional, A-Pro is only a phone call or email away.
Let’s get it done together!
President, A-Pro Home Inspection
Recommend an A-Pro Certified Pre-Owned Home Inspection to Your Selling Clients
Today’s seller’s market can be best described in Econ 101 terms: a simple matter of supply and demand.
An unusually high number of people shopping for new homes coupled with a limited amount of properties available has caused housing prices to soar. These higher prices, however, have not discouraged scores of aggressive buyers to pursue homeownership, leading to bidding wars over prime properties. As one agent in northeast Ohio said in March, “I’ve never seen a market like this.”
As a result, it has become commonplace for multiple offers to end up in a seller’s lap at one time. When this occurs, some bidders have tried to stand out from the crowd by waiving the home inspection contingency clause, meaning their offer is not dependent on the results of having a home inspector perform a detailed assessment of the property. Without the inspection, the buyer has:
No documentation (other than required seller disclosures) to request repairs prior to closing
No leverage to negotiate a lower price
Essentially, waiving the clause says they will accept the property “as is,” for better or for worse.
In a competitive market, it’s a gamble that some desperate house-hunters, looking for any edge they can find, are willing to take. But as real estate and home inspection professionals both know, it’s a decision that many people come to regret, especially if unintentionally undisclosed problems are discovered once the buyer takes occupancy.
In some cases, buyers have signed the home inspection contingency clause, but they find that the window of time to perform the inspection—due to the urgency of deals at this time—is too tight to get the job done.
Who is affected when the deal is completed without an inspection? In short, everyone.
If costly problems are found, the buyers become dissatisfied with the home and the impact on their budget—sometimes leveling claims that the seller purposely did not disclose the defect
The sellers are unhappy that the buyer is not pleased with the transaction, disputing the claim that they willfully withheld information about the problem
The real estate agent sees discontent on all sides. Further, there is an increased chance of being named in a lawsuit—along with the seller—that can cost money and time to defend, even if it has no merit
A Proactive Approach:
More and more agents are heading off these potential problems by recommending that their selling clients have an inspector perform a roof-to-foundation pre-listing checkup of the home, like those done by A-Pro Home Inspection. The inspection adds a layer of protection for sellers, who may have inadvertently omitted a system/component defect in their disclosures. For agents who have recommended the service, it shows you have gone out of your way to make sure your sellers have done all they could to let buyers know about the property. When listed as a Certified Pre-Owned Home, home shoppers know the home has already been inspected from top to bottom, so bidders don’t have to worry about eliminating this critical service from the process in order to gain a perceived advantage with the seller.
For you and your clients, it’s another way to make the listing more attractive by helping potential buyers arrive at an informed decision. And with housing prices continuing to move northward (14% up from last year’s figures in March), a Certified Pre-Owned Home Inspection can be a savvy option. Buyers will like the seller’s transparency and view the pre-listing inspection as a good faith perk that allows them to purchase with greater confidence; your selling client will be able to use the report to justify the higher price of the home by showing concrete evidence of its condition.
Here are a few more reasons you should consider an A-Pro Certified Pre-Owned Home Inspection if you’re selling in 2021:
A-Pro home inspectors carry a minimum of $300,000 in Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, which protects both client and real estate agent in case the inspector inadvertently misses or omits a major defective system or component from the home inspection report.
Surveys have indicated that homes that have been professionally inspected prior to listing sell more quickly (up to one-third times faster by some estimates), and for more money than those that depend on the buyer to hire a contractor for the inspection. Home shoppers will also be happy to know that this is one less expense, and headache they’ll have to incur as they move toward closing.
Having a Certified Pre-Owned Home Inspection provides sellers with valuable insights about components or entire systems that need to be repaired or replaced. With the detailed inspection report in hand, buyers have the option of making upgrades prior to listing or adjusting the price based on the cost to make recommended upgrades. Selling a home “as is” may sound like a good idea, but it can fraught with trouble and bad feelings that could be avoided.
A-Pro Home Inspection reports are fair and balanced, meaning they highlight trouble spots as well as positive aspects of the home. These promptly delivered Certified Pre-Owned Home Inspection reports can be turned into a powerful selling tool. · Certified Pre-Owned Home Inspections come with A-Pro’s “If We Don’t Report It, We Repair It” 120-day guarantee. In the rare occurrence that a pre-existing problem is not reported, it will be repaired at A-Pro’s expense. This guarantee can be directly passed from the seller to the homebuyer.
Pre-listing inspections can lead to smoother closings and fewer surprises. Further, the pre-listing inspection reduces liability by adding professional documentation to the disclosure statement, while passing liability to the insured inspector.
Ask your local A-Pro Home Inspection team about its Certified Pre-Owned Home Inspections in Billings. To schedule one, call 406-426-2766 or visit the link below.
Real Estate Question Corner
I’ve had buying clients say, “The house looks fine. What if the inspector finds no serious issues? Have I wasted my money?” What should I tell them?
Tell them that even if the inspection uncovers no major problems, the service still has great value. Having a home inspection…
Is a small price to pay for the peace of mind of knowing that you are making an informed purchase rather than merely hoping for the best
Gets your questions about the home answered by a certified professional during and after the inspection
Delivers advice in the home inspection report on maintaining systems in the home
Highlights safety issues that need to be addressed
Reports on the age of systems and what will need to be repaired down the road so you can budget accordingly
Establishes a relationship with a proven home inspector who could provide additional services when necessary
Provides a document that can be used as a baseline of the home’s condition as it ages. A-Pro’s beautifully bound home inspection reports, complete with color photos, also make a treasured keepsake
Bottom line: Always insist that your clients have a home inspection.
Quick Facts about the Current Housing Market
In most U.S. cities, housing inventory is significantly down compared to a year ago. Some of the largest declines are in Raleigh, NC (-57%); Jacksonville, FL (-56%); Memphis, TN (-55%); Baltimore, MD (-54%); and Tampa, FL (-53%). As of February, there was an overall 40% drop in housing inventory nationally.
According to Realtor.com, housing prices in March registered double-digit growth again—a trend that started more than 30 weeks ago. The median home price of listings nationally rose by 14.3% over the previous year during the first week of the month.
Mortgage rates are expected to hover in the low 3% range throughout 2021.
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