Realtors in the East Bay Area do things a little differently than some other areas of California. While not all recommend it, it is common practice for Realtors to order inspections prior to listing a house for sale in Concord or Walnut Creek or other surrounding areas in the East Bay. When selling properties in Northern California or down in Southern California, this isn’t the norm.
Advantages to inspecting your house before you put it on the market for sale
You want to know what kind of issues, if any, that your home has prior to selling it. This will give you the opportunity to fix the problem if you so choose, or not. You don’t want to learn about the problems your house has from the buyer when you’re in contract. This will give the buyer the upper hand in the deal, and can result in you losing a lot of money. The buyer can simply back out of the deal, or request that you either repair the house, credit the money for repairs, reduce the sales price of the home, or a combination of these. The buyer can also simply back out of the deal, and then you’ll be forced to re-list your home as “back on market.” Once a home is listed as “back on market” it is a red flag for many Realtors and home buyers. Your listing agent will have to explain to other Realtors why the deal fell through. Furthermore, any inspections performed by the would-be buyer that resulted in the “material facts” that caused them to cancel the deal will need to be disclosed to any future buyer(s).
Furthermore, when a property has inspections and problems are discovered and disclosed, the buyer is making an informed decision when they decide to submit a purchase offer and the house is typically priced according to condition. This takes items found in inspections off of the bargaining table during negotiations. For instance, if a house needs a new roof and this is discovered during a pre-sale roof inspection that was ordered by the seller, the seller will disclose this information to any potential buyers. The buyers will take this into consideration, and either continue in their property search elsewhere, or they will place an offer on the home with this in mind. Once in contract, buyers generally will not have their Realtor ask for credit to replace the roof (although some will try anyways), because the buyer was already made aware of the condition of the roof prior to submitting their offer. If they hadn’t known about this from start, the likelihood of the transaction falling apart is higher, and the ball is in their court at the negotiations table.
Disclose, Disclose, Disclose!
I am a firm believer of the old real estate saying, “disclose, disclose, disclose.” If anything and everything is disclosed up front, things will be okay. It’s okay if the house has issues, most homes do unless they’re brand new. It's when things are not disclosed is when things can get ugly. I'm a advocate of pre-sale inspections and providing transparency to prospective buyers. At minimum, I believe homes should have a general home inspection, roof inspection and structural pest inspection.
Different Types of Property Inspections
General home inspection
Foundation inspections/structural engineer reports
These are the most common inspections performed by sellers before they sell their homes, but the list goes on.
If you’re located in the East Bay Area and would like me to recommend a trusted vendor who can perform any of the above inspections, please reach out to me and I’d be happy to provide their contact information.