CJ Brasiel, Real Estate Pro in San Jose, CA

How are you advising clients in regards to inspections in the changing market?

Asked by CJ Brasiel, San Jose, CA Tue Jan 1, 2008

I am curious of how other real estate agents are advising their clients in regards to inspections. If you are listing the property which inspections do you recommend? If you are representing the buyer, do you use the reports generated by the seller's hire or do you recommend inspection professionals for your client? With the changing market, I am curious if this has changed how you advise. Thanks in advance.

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Hello CJ. I have always tried to get sellers to get pre-listings inspections and make the necessary repairs if they were able to do so financially. In a hot market, sellers were able to get away with not doing inspections and they did not need to spend money on repairs. Now, that the market has cooled off for sellers, I find it easier to convince sellers to have the inspections done up front.

When representing a buyer, I try to get copies of any inspection reports prior to making an offer as it helps the buyer to decide how much to offer. However, I highly recommend that the buyers get their own inspections. If a buyer does not wish to spend the money of independent inspections, I have the buyers sign a statement that they waive inspections despite of having been advised otherwise. In summary, I would say that my advice has not changed, it just has become easier to get the sellers to cooperate. Real estate is a big investment and in my opinion the same caution is advisable whether you are in a buyer's or seller's market. Now, if we could get the lenders to see the benefit of getting inspections, we'd be in really good shape, wouldn't we.
Web Reference: http://www.theMLShub.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2008
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in Newcastle, CA
I advise all my buyer clients to do a home inspection. Having the home pre-inspected by the seller isn't that common here other then city required inspections.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2008
Hi CJ. Nothing has changed for me. I have always tried to convience my sellers to get inspections prior to listing and complete the repairs. As Ute said, it has just gotten a little easier to convince them. As for buyers, I also try to get copies of the inspections and proof that repairs were completed before we make an offer. If it is a recent (last 30 to 45 days) inspection, I may recommend that we try and get the company to do a re-inspection. Depends on age of house and what repairs were claimed to have been done. No matter what, I always recommend some type of inspection where the inspector knows he is working for us and not the seller.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2008
Thanks to all that answered.
I have always advised my sellers to get a home inspection and termite, roof if it is older. Lately, I have been getting a lot of resistance from sellers to do so. I always recommend buyers to get their own inspections but find most of them use the sellers because of money. I have a pre-printed page with all the inspections one could do and estimated costs and I have the clients sign, understanding that these are the inspections that could help them identify any issues with the house.

Thanks again.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 2, 2008
I advise my sellers, at minimum, to get a pest inspection and take care of all Section 1 work up front. I do this for the same reason as Sylvia - I want to know what we're getting into before we go to market and I want to be able to answer questions and address potential objections up front.

For buyers, I explain that their home is often one of the biggest investments they will make in their lifetime, so inpsections are critical. Some buyers will go with the sellers inspections, but with older homes, AND with homes that have been on the market 90+ days (which are becoming more common!) I advise on fresh inspections.

The bottom line? Whether I am representing a buyer or a seller, my ob is to protect them through every aspect of the transaction. I encourage inspections - and further inspections if they are called for. You can never be to careful!
Web Reference: http://www.cindihagley.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2008
The Hagley G…, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA
EXCELLENT ADVICE from Ute and Sylvia, no matter what State you are in. As a listing agent, it's best to be as honest as possible and divulge any issues you know of.

The problem is that even though there are honest sellers out there, there are sometimes unanticipated issues theat they were not aware of, which then affects their bottom line after the buyers home inspection. I always advocate that it is better to know what you don't know and provide all necessary info and documentation to the buyer.

I also recommend (as a listing agent) that the buyer get theri own independant inspection even after reading the sellers report, to avoid any issues of fraud. Honesty is always the best policy.

I don't work much with buyers, but if I did, I'd appreciate a seller and listing agent who had these ethics.

My .01 - it is better to be honest, forthright and helpful, you do well by doing good, and you sleep better at night ;-)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2008

Just to clarify for other readers, i assume you are in San Jose, CA,(since you are from Santa Clara county) instead of San Jose, FL where the question is categorized.

I am in Marin, S.F. North Bay - I still advise my clients the same way as I always advise my clients -

For sellers - get an inspection to find problems before selling the home, especially if the house is older and there might be major problems which cause major negotiation when removing contingency or prevent us from closing (lenders also have requirements on credit back and repairs, which can be problematic especially in today’s lending market). This will also help us price the property correctly which helps in selling the house.

For buyers - read the sellers inspection reports but also get independent inspections. Minimum, home (contractor's) inspection and termite (pest) inspection; also specialized inspection when situation warrants (roof, pool, chimney, foundation, etc).

I do provide my clients with recommendations for inspectors, especially if they ask. I prefer the ones I have experience with, are reputable, with references and have adequate insurance.

There are mandatory local government inspections that we have to have - depends on the town / county.

Regardless of the market, I think the seller/buyer mentality are the same and advisories, disclosures and findings are always very important whether they are from buyers and/or seller's angle. .

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Novato, CA
As a Home Inspector I recommend having it done by the buyer also. Several items may have changed since the first inspection. Realtors need to remember you need an inspector that does his job very well.Not the inspector that never finds anything.
We have completed several inspections after other inspection company said everything is good. Then we find dozens of issues and concerns the first company missed and over looked.
Realtors take pride in there jobs. Have a Home Inspector that does too. We all will sleep good at night.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 18, 2009
I am encouraged by the number of Realtors who seem to be encouraging Seller's get inspections. This type of inspection is not popular here in PA (mostly for liability and disclosure reasons) but can be a real asset in helping make a listing price stick and as a marketing tool.

For buyer's I would caution that many seller's inspctions are limited to items of immediate concern for safety or items of major material defect (generally considere to be greater than $1000 to repair or replace.) Failure to disclose smaller items, like say an improperly wired outlet, does not mean they do not exist - it just means that they did not meet the threshold which the inspector and seller agreed upon as "major." If you are plugging your 62 inch plasma TV or computer into that outlet - it very well may be major to you!

A buyers independant inspection is alwyas a good idea (what else did you expect an inspector to say?) and I like to encourge buyers and agents to find an inspector who is a good fit for their specific needs. (First time buyers need more explanation and detail about why something is or IS NOT a big deal, where investors may just want a professional opinion on major systems and structure.)
Web Reference: http://www.SherlockHI.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
We have a seller disclosure in the state of Florida that we have our sellers fill out and is part of our official file. That way if there an issue later on, it can be verified if it was misrepresentation by the seller. If misrepresentation, it might clear the way for a cancellation of a contract. We always recommend a buyer have a home inspection done by a reputable home inspector--we will recommend more than one, and the buyer chooses which inspector they will use. If they find something that was misrepresented by the seller, or is a warranted item, it requires the seller to make the repair. We also recommend a home warranty be purchased by the seller or the buyer to protect each party from unexpected problems from listing to the year after the purchase.
Web Reference: http://www.myketriebold.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 2, 2008
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