First Time Home Buyers


Home inspections have customarily been for the benefit of the buyer. Home inspections, performed as a condition of the offer, can kill deals. At times this is because the buyer gets cold feet during the ten day inspection period (Free look); sometimes there's a big problem no one knew about. Every now and then it is because the house has been misrepresented; now and again it is because the home inspector scared the buyers by not explaining that insignificant and common problems are just that - insignificant and typical for a home of the same age and configuration.

If the home inspection is performed prior to the house being listed, all parties will be aware of the physical condition of the house before an offer is placed on the home by a prospective buyer. There will be no surprises after the fact. Deals will not fall through the crack. 

In a buyers' market, most houses have to be sold three times. It takes a lot of work to get a listing and then a signed Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Then the home inspection is done and the buyer wants to renegotiate. If all parties know the condition of the house prior to the offer, there is no need for renegotiation. As most real estate agents know, renegotiation is very difficult. Sellers have already mentally sold the house; buyers are suffering buyers' remorse. Egos, pride and frustration can muddy the already emotional waters. A seller who pays for a home inspection will be further ahead than one who has to renegotiate. He or she in most cases will sell the house faster.

An inspection at the time of listing can also help a REALTOR® deal with a seller who has unrealistic expectations of the asking price. The inspection report is a good way of explaining to the seller why they can't ask top dollar for a house that is not in top condition. Sometimes the home inspection will reveal items which should be repaired immediately. A pre-inspected listing allows the seller to repair the problem prior to putting the house on the market. This is proactive rather than reactive at the time of sale.

If the inspection occurs after the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, the purchaser could walk, renegotiate or depending on the inspection clause, the seller may have an option to repair. A repair done by an unmotivated seller to satisfy the condition may not be the best repair and may not meet the purchaser's expectations. This is a common problem in real estate sales and has caused more than one deal not to close.).

The links contained in this site will let you leave the International Society of Home Inspectors® (ISHI®) site. ISHI is not responsible for the contents of any linked site or any link therein, or any changes or updates to these sites, or any media available from these sites. These linked sites are not under the control of ISHI. Inclusion of any link is strictly for convenience, and does not imply any endorsement by ISHI of the site. The comments herein are the opinion of the authors and are in no way approved nor endorsed by ISHI, the International Society of Home Inspectors.