Home Sellers' "Almanac"
An Ounce of Prevention
One of the recurring certainties in life is as Ben Franklin once said: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This timeless advice applies to selling a home, specifically to getting a pre-emptive home inspection and even septic inspection (if applicable).
Considering that real estate, specifically buying a house, is usually the largest purchase anyone makes in a lifetime, it makes sense that buyers want to cross every 't' and dot every 'i'. Sometimes it seems to take a lifetime to complete the sale (not just in terms of paying a 30-year mortgage!), in terms of negotiating an inspection report on the sale of an historic - or even a relatively brand new - home. Furthermore, and this is where the "ounce of prevention" comes in, all too often, sellers discover a major home defect only after the buyers' home inspection report comes back.
While the home inspection is usually a cost that the buyers incur, sellers can save time in the long run by ordering a home inspection when they list their house for sale. Home inspections range in price, depending on the size/age of the property and how much time the inspector needs, but can cost several "Ben Franklins."
Conducting a preventive home inspection may not necessarily mean that buyers won't ask for one or the mortgage company won't also require a current one; however, it gives sellers a strong position in selling and helps identify any areas of concern ahead of time.
Once buyers present an offer and sellers accept, a relatively firm calendar is set in motion with prescribed time frames for buyer-ordered inspection, seller response and/or correction, buyer acceptance, and contractual ratification. Plus, in the (hopefully brief) wait between listing and selling their home, sellers can enjoy the benefits of living in a fully safe and up-to-code home!
Most importantly, a preventive home inspection can make the road to closing/final sale a smooth one for everyone.
An Ounce of Suction...
Similarly, if sellers have a septic system (vs. community/town sewer), they should maintain their home's sewage treatment system and have it serviced regularly. Upon making an offer of sale on a home, buyers will order a septic inspection. The number of people living in a home can dictate the frequency and requirements for maintaining a septic system; however, regular maintenance is ideal.
Starting in 2014, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) is making its septic inspection requirements more stringent, especially in certain areas near watersheds. Since human nature is to wait until the last minute (we haven't taken all of Ben Franklin's advice to heart!), home owners with septic systems who are planning to sell can get ahead of the possible run on septic companies and order their inspections ahead of 2014.
Whether through a pre-emptive home inspection or septic inspection, sellers can help clear the path to closing!
For help with the entire path to selling a home, please contact The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group at www.leeanngroup.com or (302) 645-6664.