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Benefits Of A Seller Pre-Inspection Posted On :Mar 01-2015

In a typical escrow, the buyer may have up to 17 days to perform property inspections before having to remove their investigation contingencies. Frequently they discover conditions during this period and ask the seller to either repair or replace some things, or to give them a substantial credit before they agree to remove contingencies.

Even in homes that have been well-maintained, there may be several conditions that are unknown to an owner. One benefit of having a professional inspection done before any prospective buyers see the property is that the seller has the opportunity to do some repairs in advance if they choose. Another benefit is that the buyer has fewer unknowns to worry about or that can become subjects of serious concern during escrow.

 The following are some examples of recent findings made during pre-inspections done by clients at our suggestion.

  • Galvanized steel pipes apparently have a life expectancy of about 50 years. Often they are replaced with copper piping only in sections that start to leak and may be improperly connected to the newer copper lines. Leaks may be on-going for many months before finally discovered.
  • The wiring may be old and have reversed polarity or missing ground connections. Ground Fault Interrupter Circuits (GFCIs) may not have yet been installed.
  • Roots may have penetrated the sewer line and require a rooter-type clearance service once or twice annually. The original cast iron waste lines may have begun to rust out.
  • The chimney may have gaps between mortar joints and missing or ineffective rain cap or spark arrestor on top.
  • Moisture may be under the house, due to several different sources. Some examples are: leaking pipes, rusted drain line, broken sprinkler pipe, over-watering, misdirection of water run-off toward the house, non-existent or inadequate gutters and downspouts, periodically high water table, and slope run-off from a neighboring property.
  • Air conditioning condensers may be missing a drip pan and/or secondary condensate backup line, which could lead to serious moisture issues.
  • Vent pipes for furnace or hot water heater may have inadequate clearance from flammable materials such as wood, or be partially disconnected.
  • Wood fences may have termite or dry rot damage or be worn. Tree branches or roots may also impact them.
  • Pool fences may need self-closing gates for child safety.
  • Pool equipment may not be electrically bonded or grounded properly. The piping or pool equipment may have leaks under the yard surface.
  • Mold may be growing under a sink, behind a cabinet, or under carpeting. Water may be keeping some wood wet, which can quickly lead to mold or dry rot, and remediation of such issues can become very costly.
  • Hardwood flooring may have uneven or stained areas that could have been caused by moisture problems. They may need refinishing to eradicate pet stains or serious scratch marks.
  • Doors and windows may not open or close easily. Occasionally, latches and locks need repair or replacement.

To the extent that a buyer knows of such issues and conditions BEFORE MAKING AN OFFER, they cannot claim to have found surprises or unexpected problems during their property inspections. Therefore, the SELLER is far less likely to have challenges due to such issues.

Michael Edlen has been involved in more than 1,200 property inspections and has found that pre-inspections have resulted in tremendous benefit to sellers in many transactions. He can be reached at (310) 230-7373 or Michael@MichaelEdlen.com.


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