The series of inspections when purchasing a home are completed routinely by most home buyers prior to closing on their home, and typically their real estate agent or lawyer will recommend having them completed. Less frequently, a home seller will sometimes hire a home inspector to complete a "pre-listing inspection" before putting a house on the market. The home inspection can be a valuable tool, for buyer and seller, in their next real estate transaction. When it comes time to make those repairs both buyer and seller will have a "honey-do" list of items of repair, and a starting point for their home improvements.
When buying a home, one may hear the term, "caveat emptor", translated from latin as "let the buyer beware". This principle states that a person who is buying something is responsible for making sure that that something is in good condition: the mechanicals, the structures and the systems are working. In some cases, upon completion of a home inspection, a buyer may discover that something may not be working or in perfect condition, and those items can sometimes be negotiated with the home seller for repair, or for cost of repair, at closing. In many cases their will be "honey-do list items" left for the home buyer to complete in the future. After closing on your new home, you're armed with the details of your recent home inspection and ready to tackle the recommended fix-up items on the inspection report.
You're a seller. You’re getting ready to put your house on the market and prior to listing you've requested a home inspector to inspect the home so that you're not surprised with unexpected home repairs once a buyer is found. That's not to say that the home inspector that you hire will find exactly the same things that the inspector hired by the buyers will find. Typically the major repairs needed will be consistently noted by most home inspectors, and the "ok-for-now-might-want-to-improve-in-the-future" items may differ. Some sellers will provide a copy of the pre-listing inspection, as well as the receipts and the documentation that the repairs have been made by a licensed contractor as part of their listing disclosures once the home is on the market. This may prove to make your home a more desirable pick to some buyers, especially those who aren't looking for a "project" to move into, or who have a tight budget that might not include updates and repairs right away.
With inspection in hand, buyers and sellers have many resources to make the improvements that they need, and want, to complete. The Better Business Bureau is a great place to begin the search for professionals. Many homeowners seek out recommendations of neighbors who have used local businesses for their home repairs. For the handy-person, many home improvement stores offer classes on home maintenance and improvement topics, and are also a good resource for professionals to complete the work if the project turns out to be beyond Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner's skillset.
A home inspection, indeed, is the King of the Honey-Do List, and a great tool in your next real estate transaction.
Melissa Rolland is a licensed Connecticut realtor. She lives in Tolland, along with her husband Todd, a licensed broker. Together they manage the Rolland Realty Group at Keller Williams Realty. You can connect with them at www.RollandRealtyGroup.com.