The Value of a Pre-Sale Home Inspection

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Value of Pre-Sale Home Inspection
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January 23, 2019

In most residential real estate transactions, the buyer(s) have up to 17 days to conduct property inspections before having to remove their inspection contingency. Frequently they discover conditions during this period and ask the seller to repair or replace some items, or give them a credit, sometimes substantial, before they agree to move forward.

Even in Beverlywood area homes that have been well-maintained, there could be several conditions that are unknown to an owner. One benefit of having a professional inspection done before any potential buyers see the property is that the seller has the opportunity to do some repairs in advance if they choose or disclose the items if they do not. Another benefit is that the buyer has fewer unknowns to worry about or that can become subjects of serious concern during escrow. Additionally, it sets the sellers apart from those that do not, by showing an extra level of preparation and motivation which can be comforting to buyers and agents.

 Below are examples of recent findings made during Pre-Sale Home Inspections

  • 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 so when the buyer does his sewer line inspection, the camera is blocked. This can create doubt, expense and delay that could have been avoided.

  • 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.

  • Vent pipes for furnace, hot water heater or pool heater may be at an inadequate distance from flammable materials such as wood, or be partially disconnected.

  • Wood fences may have termite or dry rot damage or be worn. Pool fences may need self-closing gates for child safety.

  • 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 floors 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.

If buyer is aware of these issues and conditions BEFORE MAKING AN OFFER, they cannot claim to have discovered these items during their inspection. A home inspection typically costs $300 – $550 and can be well worth the investment prior to selling your home. I can provide a list of local home inspectors when the time is right. Dan May is among the leading real estate professionals in the United States. He can be reached at (310)482-2110 or

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