When you want to sell your property, there are many financial and legal issues you'll have to give due consideration to. In particular, while a home inspector is looking at your home, you might as well tie as many loose ends as possible in the short time you'll be seeing him or her. Check out these three questions about your property to ask a home inspector before you sell your home.
What documents can you give me to prove the condition of my home?
It's even more important to get the right documentation if all the systems in your home are as healthy as can be. As an example, if you sell the home to someone and some part of the home's plumbing breaks a few months later, you want to be able to prove that everything was working fine during the sale to avoid complaints and a possible lawsuit from the seller.
Make sure the documents you get are duly signed by the home inspector so that his or her reputation and professional license will be at stake. Also make sure there are at least a couple of witnesses to the document signing to cover all your bases.
How difficult would it be to repair the systems in my home that are ill-maintained?
If something in the house is broken or at least not working property, you'll need to give the buyer all the information you can manage to avoid trouble later. To ensure that the buyer doesn't exaggerate the damage and demand a much lower price for the home than you can tolerate, ask the home inspector to give an opinion about how much it would cost to make everything run smoothly again.
After you get the estimate, you can try to get a better deal by fixing everything before the sale or you can simply pass on the number to the prospective buyer. This way, you won't have to take any larger of a discount on your home than you have to.
What is the likelihood of major problems developing with the home in the near future?
While the home inspector is at your home, you might as well ask for an estimate of the likelihood of a major maintenance issue developing in your home in the next couple years or so. If the home inspector is experienced, he or she should be able to give you an estimate that's fairly accurate.
Depending on how much you like the answer, you can pass it on to the seller after you've more or less decided on a price or you can keep the information to yourself. In general, though, if you want a fair deal, it's better to share as much information as possible. For more information, contact a real estate lawyer.